Oil giant BP and rival Shell are merging on a $15.9 billion deal for a $1.2 billion pipeline to the Gulf Coast that will help boost both companies’ fortunes.
The transaction, first reported by Bloomberg, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The deal, which was expected to include a pipeline company, is part of a larger $2.5 billion deal between the two companies to make more pipeline infrastructure available to oil producers.
The move is expected not only to boost BP’s pipeline operations but also to bring in new jobs.
The merger is expected be approved by BP shareholders in 2019, with Shell’s shares being offered at a $7.5 per share premium.
Shell is one of the world’s largest oil companies.
Its refinery operations in the Gulf of Mexico are among the largest in the world, supplying more than 10 million barrels of crude per day.
The company’s Houston refinery is the only refinery in the United States that is capable of processing oil from the Gulf and is among the busiest in the country.
Shell also has facilities in Texas and Louisiana that are capable of shipping its oil to refineries on the Gulf coast.
A $15 million merger is likely to help BP, a major player in the global oil market, boost its balance sheet and boost its stock price.
“The acquisition will allow us to significantly accelerate pipeline infrastructure investment across the Gulf region,” said BP’s Chairman and CEO Darren Woods.
“We believe this is the right move for the company and the Gulf for years to come.”
The merger, which will create a combined pipeline company with a joint venture to build and operate pipelines, is in line with BP’s strategy of diversifying.
“BP believes in pipeline infrastructure and is committed to bringing a pipeline business to the region,” Woods said in a statement.
“This merger will add pipeline infrastructure to the company’s pipeline business portfolio, and we are confident that this transaction will help the company achieve the vision to become the world leader in pipeline capacity.”
The deal comes as BP is embroiled in an investigation into allegations of bribery in the company.
BP has said it is cooperating with authorities and has promised to fully cooperate with their investigations.
In March, the company announced it had been given permission to conduct its own internal investigation into the alleged bribery.
In the same month, BP was awarded $20 million from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to settle a lawsuit filed by former executives over alleged illegal payments.