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ConocoPhillips in Talks to Buy Concho Resources in Big Shale Bet

  • Energy producers could announce deal in next few weeks
  • Explorers are seeking to bulk up in productive Permian Basin
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Photographer: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg
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ConocoPhillips is in talks to acquire rival Concho Resources Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, as one of America’s largest independent oil explorers looks to make a bold bet on shale during an historic industry downturn.

The companies may announce a deal in the next few weeks, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. Concho shares climbed as much as 15% in New York trading Wednesday, the most since April. They were up 13% at $49.73 each at 9:50 a.m., giving the Midland, Texas-based company a market value of about $9.8 billion.