Chevron and Exxon mentioned a merger final 12 months after the Covid pandemic devastated oil costs

A vehicle drives past an Exxon Mobil Corp. gas station in Arlington, Virginia, United States on Wednesday, April 29, 2020.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The CEOs of Chevron and ExxonMobil discussed the possibility of a merger of the two companies last year, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing unnamed people familiar with the talks.

The newspaper reported that Chevron CEO Michael Wirth and Exxon CEO Darren Woods discussed the prospect after the Covid-19 pandemic negatively impacted oil prices.

The talks are not ongoing and have been described as preliminary, according to the journal. Representatives of the two companies declined to comment. The conversations were later reported by Reuters.

A Chevron-Exxon merger would be among the largest in history and likely subject to antitrust scrutiny by the Justice Department under President Joe Biden. Both companies descend from John D. Rockefellers Standard Oil, which was dissolved by the Supreme Court in 1911.

Chevron's market cap is $ 164 billion and Exxon's is $ 189 billion, meaning the combined company would be worth more than $ 350 billion. The combined company would be the second largest oil and gas company in the world after Saudi Aramco.

Oil prices have made up much of their losses since crater formation in March, though they have remained somewhat depressed amid slower-than-expected vaccine rollouts and concerns about new coronavirus variants.

– CNBC's Pippa Stevens contributed to this report.

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