Chevron Corp., whose buyout of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. was scuttled last year, now is said to be facing obstacles to take over Noble Energy Inc.

Noble assets

The San Ramon, CA-based major in July clinched a definitive agreement to acquire Houston super independent Noble in an all-stock transaction worth an estimated $5 billion that carries a total enterprise value, including debt, of $13 billion. Chevron had agreed in 2019 to combine with Anadarko, but Occidental Petroleum Corp. scuttled that deal with a $57 billion offer.

Now the Noble deal apparently is facing pushback from New York City-based Elliott Management Corp., a hedge fund run by Paul Singer. 

Elliott took an undisclosed stake in Noble after the Chevron deal was announced, according to a filing with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Elliott, however, told NGI it had no comment. According to the FTC filing, Elliott was granted early termination under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, a requirement when shares are bought above a specific threshold and when the investor seeks to discuss strategy or management. 

Bloomberg initially reported that Elliott “believes the company is better positioned to benefit from a recovery in oil prices on a standalone basis…” 

When prices recover, Elliott also indicated Noble should consider selling its substantial natural gas-rich portfolio in the Mediterranean. 

Noble’s operations offshore Israel include the 22 Tcf Leviathan project, whose first phase includes four subsea wells, each capable of flowing more than 300 MMcf/d. Proved reserves are estimated at 3.3 Tcf net.

Noble also is a leading operator in Colorado’s Denver-Julesburg Basin. In addition, it has around 92,000 acres in the Permian Basin of West Texas and a midstream business in the Eagle Ford Shale.