Sinopec signed a $2 billion dollar deal to develop a major Iranian oil field coinciding with the Bush administration admitting their intelligence assertions on Iran's nuclear weapons were wrong. Once again the state owned companies are asserting their dominance in oil.
Exxon, hasn't come to the table in Kazakhastan's Kasaghan, the largest new oil field in the world, nor is Exxon Neftegas selling natural gas from Sakhalin Island to the Russian State, who would then jack up the prices and export it, but instead they are moving the gas to the Chinese at higher prices. But how many companies have the clout of Exxon?
What this means though, is that the oil companies need to get bigger, and they need to expand their reserves, especially while prices of the stocks are down, and they still have an administration friendly to oil. And Devon Energy (DVN 88) would be a great acquisition target.