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U.S. oil and gas M&A activity slowed in the fourth quarter – Enverus

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FILE PHOTO: Behind the crude oil pump outlet in the Perm Basin in Solar Loving County, Texas, USA, November 22, 2019. / Angus Mordant

() – U.S. oil and gas industry deals fell more than twice in the third quarter to the fourth quarter, and the annual overall figure was lower than the pre-pandemic average, according to data released Thursday by analyst firm Enverus.

Oil producers contracted just $ 9 billion in the last three months of 2021, a 50 percent drop from $ 18.5 billion in the third quarter. But it was $ 66 billion for the whole year, up 25% from a two-year high in the second quarter.

In 2020, M&A activity in the industry pushed oil and gas prices to record lows due to the pandemic, although commodity prices rose sharply last year, triggering a wave of consolidation.

However, this also increased prices, which made it difficult for buyers and sellers to agree on a price and led to fewer but larger deals.

According to Enverus, the number of upstream transactions signed in 2020 and 2021 was 172 and 179, respectively, which was an average of 400 transactions per year before COVID.

The slow end of the “second year of the COVID-affected market” brought the total value of transactions below an average of $ 72 billion from 2015 to 2019, Enverus said in a press release.

Continental Resources Inc.’s acquisition of Delaware assets from Pioneer Natural Resources for $ 3.25 billion topped the oil M&A in the fourth quarter, followed by Southwestern Energy Co.’s Blackstone-backed GeoSouthern assets at about $ 1 billion in Haynesville. , Bought for $ 85 billion.

According to Enverus, the Delaware part of the Perm Basin and Haynesville were the two most active games, accounting for 80 percent of the total deal value in the fourth quarter.

“Overall, the M&A market should be set to be active by 2022. In areas like Delaware Basin and Haynesville, inventory prices should still be attractive to buyers and there should be additional assets in the market,” said Andrew Dittmar, Enverus CEO.

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