On January 15, 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had launched an investigation into Exxon’s valuation of certain of its assets in the Permian Basin. The article reported that a whistleblower filed a lawsuit alleging that during a 2019 internal Exxon assessment, workers were forced to use unrealistic assumptions about how quickly wells in the Permian Basin could be drilled to reach a higher valuation. The whistleblower complaint alleged that at least one employee was fired. The WSJ further reported that some Exxon managers concluded that the net present value of the Delaware Basin(within the Permian Basin) was approximately $60 billion, but that some employees involved in Exxon’s annual development planning estimated that value to be closer to $40 billion. On this news, Exxon’s stock price fell $2.42 per share, or approximately 5%, wiping out billions of dollars in market capitalization.