Head of Exxon’s shale oil business faces sexual assault charge in Texas By Reuters

Head of Exxon’s shale oil business faces sexual assault charge in Texas By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Exxon Mobil’s Spring, Texas, campus where the bulk of the oil company’s new trading will take place in Spring, Texas, U.S., April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Ernest Scheyder/File Photo

By Gary McWilliams

HOUSTON (Reuters) – The head of Exxon Mobil (NYSE:)’s shale oil and gas business, a unit involved in merger talks with rival Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:), 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.

Exxon declined immediate comment on the arrest. Scott did not immediately respond to a message sent to his LinkedIn profile.

Scott, 49, was arrested in a room at the 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 hotel worker who saw a security video told Reuters.

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 around the world. As a senior vice president of its shale operations, he would not necessarily be involved merger talks, a person familiar with the matter said.

He faces a second-degree felony assault charge and was released 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.

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