With a new planned headquarters currently under construction in Greenwood, Tulsa-based WPX Energy will be acquired by Oklahoma City's Devon Energy, with the new, merged company to be headquartered in the state capital.
“This merger-of-equals strengthens our confidence that we will achieve all of our five-year targets outlined in late 2019,” said Rick Muncrief, WPX’s chairman and CEO, in a press release. “The combined company will be one of the largest unconventional energy producers in the U.S. and with our enhanced scale and strong financial position, we can now accomplish these objectives for shareholders more quickly and efficiently. We will create value for shareholders of both companies through the disciplined management of our combined assets and an unwavering focus on profitable, per-share growth.”
“This merger is a transformational event for Devon and WPX as we unite our complementary assets, operating capabilities and proven management teams to maximize our business in today’s environment, while positioning our combined company to create value for years to come,” said Dave Hager, Devon’s president and CEO, in the same release, jointly issued by the companies.
At a press release Monday, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum referred to the news as "disappointing" and "sad."
"There's just a realistic expectation that when you have a merger of two companies that there are people that will lose their jobs," Bynum said. "My hope is that as many of the great people that are at WPX right now can keep their jobs in this newly formed company, and that those who can't, that we are going to work very hard with WPX, with the Tulsa [Regional] Chamber, to make sure that they find other jobs here in Tulsa and that we keep that great talent here in our city to continue growing our economy."
Bynum said WPX leadership has given their word that the office tower currently being constructed at Detroit and Cameron in Greenwood will be completed, and that the city is already looking at new tenants to fill it.
"That's the nightmare scenario, is that you have a hole in the ground with a partially constructed building sticking out of it and they just leave and leave it there. That is not going to happen. I've been assured of that," Bynum said.
"Since its earliest beginnings as part of The Williams Cos., WPX Energy has developed into one of our region’s strongest employers and most dedicated corporate citizens," said Tulsa Regional Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal in a statement. "We at the Tulsa Regional Chamber are especially grateful to WPX CEO Rick Muncrief for his board leadership and commitment to bettering our community. We look forward to working with the leadership teams of both WPX and Devon Energy to support them during this transition.”