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(Reuters) - The latest business combination in the U.S. shale patch is signaling a path forward for the troubled sector. Slideshow ( 2 images ). In contrast to the bankruptcies of the past three months, Devon Energy DVN.N 's $2.56 billion all-stock, low premium deal for rival WPX Energy WPX.N brings together two companies with assets in a few oil-producing basins and relatively low debt levels. Investors supported the idea with a rally in shares. WPX closed up 16.4% on Monday and Devon gained 11%, buoyed by the prospect of a combined company that analysts believe would be better positioned to pay dividends and reduce debt. Shale has been hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic that has slashed g... Full story

29 September