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Opinion
Liam Denning

What to Call a Merged Exxon-Chevron? Probably Not Exron.

Reports of merger talk between the two giants smacks of Big Oil, especially Exxon, being on the defensive.

“Stranded Oil?” A huge would-be oil tie-up raises uncomfortable questions, particularly for Exxon.

“Stranded Oil?” A huge would-be oil tie-up raises uncomfortable questions, particularly for Exxon.

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

What would one even call a merged Exxon Mobil and Chevron? Exron sounds a little too much like another former energy powerhouse from Texas. Standard Oil would be a reasonable compromise given it would reunify so many of the baby Rockefellers. But the PR types and the lawyers might think it best not to put that in front of the Department of Justice. How about Stranded Oil? Grimly amusing, but a little too close to home.

Sunday evening’s report from the Wall Street Journal that the CEOs of the two oil giants had a preliminary conversation about merging last year is intriguing on a number of levels. It should be said upfront that this comes from people “familiar” with the situation and the talks aren’t said to be still happening. Even so, here are some preliminary observations and questions.