Global oil and gas transactions review 2012

Oilfield services segment shows resilience

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Transaction levels remained buoyant, with 212 oilfield services deals announced, compared with 194 in 2011, based on IHS Herold data.

The average disclosed deal value fell from US$424m to US$233m, but this is partly due to some very large deals in 2011.

The themes that characterized 2012 include:

  • A series of acquisitions by US companies overseas
  • A focus on acquiring new technologies, particularly for deepwater applications
  • Continued interest in acquiring businesses that give buyers rapid entries to hard-to-access growth markets?

Valuations climbed in 2012, thanks to a stable oil price, strong current trading and healthy growth prospects for companies, and improved financing options. While the multiples achieved for deals is not back at the highs of 2007–08, it is possible to point to a number of transactions where a premium price was realized.

Top 10 transactions in 2012 based on disclosed value

Top 10 transactions in 2012 based on disclosed value

Top 10 transactions in 2012 based on disclosed value

Announced date




Nature of asset


5 Nov 12

Petroleum Berhad

Tender rig businesses of
both companies

Seadrill Limited

MOU to integrate both companies' tender rig businesses


9 Aug 12

National Oilwell
Varco, Inc.

Robbins & Myers
EnergySystems, L.P.

Listed business

Supplier of application-critical equipmentand systems


26 Nov 12

Royal Boskalis
Westminster N.V.

Dockwise Ltd.

Listed business

Marine services provider of logistics management oflarge and heavy structures (under negotiation; valueof initial offer)


24 Sep 12


Fugro Geoscience Division

Fugro N.V.

Fugro's Geoscience Division, excluding existingmulti-client library and nodes businesses


18 Sep 12

Waste Connections,

R360 Environmental
Solutions, Inc.

Blue Sage Capital

“US-based oilfield environmentalsolutions company”


10 Sep 12

Shelf Drilling
Holdings Ltd.

38 shallow water drilling

Transocean Ltd.

38 shallow water drilling rigs


21 Feb 12

URS Corporation

Flint Energy Services Ltd.

Listed business

Provider of construction services, with a focus onthe oil, oil sands and gas producing regions ofWestern Canada and in the Southwest, Appalachianand Rocky Mountain regions of the US


11 Jun 12

Apax Partners
LLP;JMI Equity, Inc.

Paradigm Ltd.

Fox Paine & Company, LLC

Independent software vendor providing solutions forseismic processing and imaging, interpretation,modeling to reservoir characterization, and wellplanning and drilling


11 Apr 12

National Oilwell
Varco, Inc.

Wilson International Inc.

Schlumberger Ltd

Distributor of pipes, valves and fittings


3 Feb 12

National Oilwell
Varco, Inc.

NKT Flexibles I/S

NKT Holding A/S;Subsea
7 S.A.

Designer and manufacturer of flexible pipe productsand systems for offshore applications


Source: IHS Herold Inc.


Three of the year’s biggest deals involved private equity buyers — an investor category notable by its absence in recent years.

In mature markets, private equity’s renewed interest in oil and gas has been prompted mainly by a search for growth that is absent from many industries outside of oil and gas, as well as confidence over medium- and long-term fundamentals in the sector.

The changing demands of the industry, such as access to NOC clients in fast-growth markets, or new technologies to service burgeoning unconventional production, mean that ambitious players in oilfield services will continue to have M&A, JVs and business combinations high on their agenda for some time to come.

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