Concho Resources’ $9.5 billion acquisition of rival independent oil and natural gas producer RSP Permian, announced Wednesday, will give the combined company the largest drilling program in the Permian Basin and allow it to lower breakeven costs at a time of prolific industry expansion there. Analysts cheered the deal as a sign that M&A activity in the basin that spans West Texas and southeastern New Mexico will continue to be robust as exploration and production companies, as well as midstream operators, look to leverage greater scale as a hedge against the uncertain trajectory of commodity prices. Controlling costs, in particular, has been a key focus in the Permian as the sheer number of players there has made drilling, completion and related infrastructure more expensive. The two companies cited the potential for significant synergies from integrating assets, systems and corporate staff, with the present value of identified savings expected to […]