Spending is down but deal count is up as U.S. dominates 2018 M&A activity

| By Mark Young

Despite some positive signs of stability in oil and gas markets during 2018, the overall M&A spend in the upstream sector globally fell to its lowest level in at least a decade. The value of announced upstream deals reached just $132 billion; a 12% decline on the $151 billion recorded the year prior even though oil prices enjoyed their best year since the 2014 price downturn.

This was the key conclusion in Evaluate Energy’s global M&A review for 2018, which can be downloaded here now.

Source: Evaluate Energy M&A Report 2018

“One crumb of comfort was evident in the increased level of underlying M&A activity,” said report author Eoin Coyne, a senior M&A analyst at Evaluate Energy. “The number of ‘significant’ deals – those with a value greater than $10 million – increased year-on-year by 9.5%, reaching their highest level since 2014. Similar increases were visible in the number of deals greater than $50 million and $100 million.”

While global values fell, the United States in particular had a big year.

“As usual, North America dominated global deal values,” he added. “Just over $93 billion in new deals were announced in the U.S. and Canada, representing 71% of the global $132 billion total. The U.S. saw the world’s four biggest deals as part of the $82 billion contributed within the U.S. That’s a 24% increase over the $66 billion in new U.S. deals in 2017.”

Source: Evaluate Energy M&A Database

For detailed analysis on the world’s biggest upstream M&A deals this year, download the Evaluate Energy M&A review of 2018 at this link.

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