Earlier this week, energy giant ConocoPhillips announced it was acquiring Permian Basin shale producer Concho Resources for $9.7 billion. Now, Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), another player in the Permian Basin of West Texas, is in talks to grow its Permian operation by buying Parsley Energy (PE), according to a Wall Street Journal report today. 

A deal would help Pioneer grow to keep up with the ConocoPhillips move into the area. Parsley's oil and gas operations in the Permian are specifically in the Delaware and Midlands basins, the same areas that Concho Resources operates in. 

oil and gas drilling in Texas' Permian Basin at sunset

Image source: Getty Images.

According to the report, Pioneer and Parsley are in talks for an all-stock deal that could come to fruition before the end of the month. Bringing Parsley's acreage into its fold would make Pioneer one of the top oil producers in the prolific Permian Basin. 

Pioneer has an enterprise value of about $16 billion, slightly more than twice that of Parsley Energy. A tie between the two companies already exists, as Parsley's founder and executive chairman, Bryan Sheffield, is the son of Pioneer's CEO, Scott Sheffield. 

 The deal would continue a wave of mergers in the sector. Besides the recently announced Conoco deal to buy Concho, last month Devon Energy and WPX Energy merged to create a company with a combined enterprise value of $12 billion. And earlier this year Chevron agreed to buy Noble Energy for about $5 billion, plus taking on its debt.