Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Edward Markey on Tuesday said the bid by ExxonMobil Corp. to acquire XTO Energy Inc. “raises a number of issues” that need to be reviewed in congressional hearings next year.

Markey, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s electricity subcommittee, said the potential takeover of XTO by ExxonMobil highlights the “direction of the U.S. domestic oil and gas industry.” Among other things, Markey said he wants to consider the role of natural gas and unconventional resource extraction techniques, including hydraulic fracturing, which are used by drillers to extract natural gas.

“I intend to convene hearings in the subcommittee early next year so that our members can take a closer look at this proposed transaction,” Markey said.

ExxonMobil announced Monday that it would buy XTO, an unconventional resource expert, for $41 billion, including debt (see Daily GPI, Dec. 15). The transaction, said ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, would advance his company’s presence not only in the United States, but it would enable the oil major to transfer technology techniques to emerging shale opportunities around the globe.

However, Markey said the merger could affect industry competition and the environment. A Markey spokesperson told NGI that a hearing date and a witness list had not been determined.

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