Strike while the iron is hot, ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance said Tuesday of the decision to pay $9.5 billion for Royal Dutch Shell plc’s Permian Basin portfolio.

The world’s largest exploration and production (E&P) company late Monday agreed to buy Shell’s West Texas portfolio, spread across 225,000 net acres of private land in the Delaware sub-basin. 

ConocoPhillips was invited by Shell to participate in the sales process earlier this year, Lance told investors Tuesday. “The bar is very high” for buying assets. When all was said and done, though, the prospect to take over a massive and well-run asset  proved irresistible.

“We were presented with a unique opportunity to add premium assets at a value that meets our strict cost of supply framework and brings...