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However, Exxon today has purchased for itself one of the best run Natural Gas producers in the United States, with its all stock deal for XTO. (they should have paid cash and de-hoarded some of their dollars). XTO, Run by Bob Simpson, has assembled a fine collection of shale NG properties and conventional oil production in the continental US over the past five years, and is quite the prize. One wonders if XOM will have to compete a bit further, however, before the deal is actually closed.

A more poignant and broader question however is as follows: does Exxon see a shift coming, finally, to energy policy in the US that would favor natural gas?

Needless to say, but this puts a finer point on how all the global majors will add to reserves in the years ahead: through more acquisitions of North American NG.

My first inclination was to sell my XTO shares, take my money and move on, but I think I might hold on just in case this gets interesting the next several weeks.
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