2020 Upstream Deals Reach “Almost Unthinkable” Total of $93 billion

| By Mark Young

Evaluate Energy’s new M&A report shows that $93 billion in upstream oil and gas deals were agreed in 2020, with the bulk of the sum found in low-premium corporate mergers in North America agreed in the latter period of the year.

The full report, which looks at all major deals and investment trends across a remarkably turbulent year for the oil and gas industry, is available for free download at this link.

Total 2020 deal values dropped 48% on the $180 billion secured in 2019 – making it the lowest annual spend since 2015. What may be more surprising is that it got as high as $93 billion by year’s end.

“While it is easy to focus on the relatively low value and equally low deal counts, getting anywhere approaching a total of $100 billion seemed almost unthinkable in the early stages of the pandemic,” said report author Eoin Coyne, Senior M&A Analyst at Evaluate Energy.

“Take Q2 for instance; when demand was being destroyed and oil temporarily traded at a negative value, the deal total for that three-month stretch stood at just $4 billion.”

This year’s annual upstream M&A review from Evaluate Energy analyses the major deals from 2020, including:

  • Acquisitions by Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Devon Energy in the U.S.
  • The major Canadian oilsands deal that saw Cenovus Energy merge with Husky Energy
  • A multi-billion reverse-takeover arrangement in the U.K. North Sea
  • The recent asset sale in West Africa by France’s Total


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