The CEOs of Exxon Mobil and Chevron discussed a merger in early 2020 as the novel coronavirus pandemic cratered oil and gas demand, the Wall Street Journal reported. The merger would have created a company second only to Saudi Aramco in size and production. The talks between the two largest corporate descendants of Rockefeller’s Standard Oil monopoly were described as preliminary and are not ongoing, but could be restarted in the future, according to the Journal. They were sufficiently serious that legal documents were drafted over aspects of the merger, according to Reuters. Many in the oil and gas industry have called for increased consolidation in light of the pandemic, the Journal reports, and consolidation in the American oil and gas industry has accelerated, fueled in part by corporate debt bailouts by the Federal Reserve. (Wall Street Journal $, Reuters, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, CNBC, MarketWatch, Business Insider, Bloomberg $)