By Gary Mcwilliams
October 9, 2023 – 3:29 AM PDT
HOUSTON (Reuters) – The head of Exxon Mobil’s (XOM.N) shale oil and gas business, a unit involved in merger talks with rival Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD.N), was arrested at a Texas hotel last week on a sexual assault charge, police said.
David Scott, an Exxon senior vice president who oversees all its shale oil and gas production business, was arrested early Thursday morning at a La Quinta Inn & Suites hotel in Magnolia, Texas, the Montgomery Sheriff’s Office said.
Efforts to reach Scott were unsuccessful. It was not immediately clear if he had legal representation.
“We are aware of the allegations and cannot comment on a personal matter; however, we can say that this individual will not continue work responsibilities as the investigation proceeds,” said spokesperson Emily Mir said.
“All Exxon Mobil employees, officers and directors are accountable for observing the highest standards of integrity and code of conduct in support of the company’s business and otherwise,” she added.
Scott, 49, was arrested in his room at the budget hotel near Exxon’s Spring, Texas, headquarters. One of the two women he was in the room with left and called police from the lobby, a worker who saw a security video told Reuters. Rooms at the hotel cost about $120 a night.
Reuters and others on Thursday reported that Exxon was in advanced talks to acquire Pioneer in a deal that could value the shale producer at about $60 billion. An agreement could be disclosed in coming days, Reuters said, citing three people familiar with the matter.
Scott’s LinkedIn profile shows he has been with Exxon for more than 26 year and has been involved in some of its most important oil and gas projects. Originally from Australia, he started with Exxon in Melbourne as an engineer, moving to jobs in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, where he was president of its United Arab Emirates affiliate.
He became head of Exxon’s Permian Basin operations in 2020 and was promoted to senior vice president earlier this year in charge of all its shale oil and gas.
As a senior vice president, he would not necessarily be involved in merger talks, a person familiar with the matter said.
Scott faces a second-degree felony assault charge and was held on a $30,000 bond, according to jail records. Convictions on such felonies in Texas carry a minimum of two years and up to 20 years in jail.
Reporting by Gary McWilliams; Editing by Lisa Shumaker