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Wall Street’s Reluctance Impedes Oil & Gas M&A Activity in Q2 2019


When you read Drillinginfo’s 2019 Q2 Oil and Gas M&A Review & Outlook report, “shocked” probably won’t describe your reaction to the news that the total value of upstream M&A deals in Q2 2019 is higher than the historic low set in Q1. After all, how could it not be? The quarter featured Occidental’s record-setting $57 billion acquisition of Anadarko – the fourth-largest O&G upstream deal ever.

Source: Drillinginfo

Here’s a statistic that might surprise you — even if you exclude the Oxy-Anadarko deal and consider that Wall Street’s coffers remain closed to public E&Ps, Q2’s total deal value still represents a nearly four-fold increase over Q1.

The Occidental-Anadarko deal dominated the quarter, contributing 88 percent of total deal value. Yet, excluding Occidental-Anadarko, Q2 matched our analysts’ expectations with a modest rebound to $7.6 billion, up from the $2.0 billion in Q1.

The quarter’s second-largest transaction was Comstock Resources’ acquisition of Covey Park for $2.2 billion to expand its Haynesville operations. Comstock was able to overcome what Midland Reporter-Telegram Oil Editor Mella McEwen referred to as a “shunning” of E&P companies by Wall Street investors.

Wall Street will likely continue to direct E&Ps to live within cash flow. As a result, deal activity will remain sluggish, but steady in Q3 as private capital is put to work. Tight capital markets will compel E&Ps to pursue alternative financing, and some smaller public companies with high-quality assets may get offers to go private.

Source: Drillinginfo 2019 Q2 Oil and Gas M&A Review & Outlook

Click this link to download the 2019 Q2 Oil and Gas M&A Review & Outlook report to read our analysis of Q2 and how it sets our expectations for Q3.

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Colin Westmoreland

Senior Vice President, General Manager-Market Research