Oil and gas explorer Pioneer Natural Resources  said on Feb. 24 that it was not pursuing any business combinations, after Bloomberg News reported that the oil and gas explorer was considering an acquisition of smaller U.S. rival Range Resources Corp.

"The company is not contemplating a significant business combination or other acquisition transaction," Pioneer said in a statement.

Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the matter, had reported that deliberations were ongoing, though there was no certainty the companies would reach an agreement. Bloomberg said that Texas-based Pioneer was seeking further consolidation in the shale industry with the deal.

Range Resources did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.