Exxon Investigated by SEC Over Permian Valuations, WSJ Says

A pumpjack operates on an oil well in the Permian Basin near Orla, Texas.
A pumpjack operates on an oil well in the Permian Basin near Orla, Texas.

(Bloomberg) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. is being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission after a whistleblower complaint from an employee alleging the overvaluation of property in the Permian Basin, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Several people involved in the valuation complained during a 2019 internal assessment that workers were being forced to use unrealistic assumptions about how quickly wells could be drilled to reach a higher valuation, the Journal reported, citing a copy of the complaint. At least one of the workers who complained was fired in 2020 , the Journal said.

Exxon shares dropped as much as 4% in pre-market trading in New York on Friday. Exxon and the SEC declined to comment on the investigation, the Journal said.