Global oil and gas transactions review 2012

Upstream spending rises

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Activity levels declined slightly, but M&A spend rose significantly in 2012.

Three key themes underpinned deal activity in 2012.

  1. IOCs and larger independents have focused on optimizing their asset portfolios
  2. NOCs have continued to expand into international markets with a number of key acquisitions and joint ventures
  3. Mid-cap companies with sizable capital commitments have had to entertain varied strategic options as conventional debt and equity investment remains challenging

Relative oil pricing stability and a significant number of large discoveries have also championed activity in the sector.

There were a total of 1152 transactions in the upstream sector, marginally down 3% from 2011, but total announced transaction values were US$284b, up a significant 68% from the prior year.

Upstream deal values and volumes

Upstream deal values and volumes

Upstream deal values and volumes

Upstream deal values and volumes

Source: IHS Herold Inc.


Asset-led transactions continue to dominate over corporate transactions, accounting for 85% of total deals, with the number of corporate deals showing a marked 20% decline from 2011. Asset deals, either full exits or partial divestments, still offer an accessible means of raising capital for most companies.

On a regional basis, North America continued to lead transaction activity, with more than 52% of all announced deals, in line with 2011. Despite the dominance, the number of announced transactions in the US fell 18% from 2011 levels while Canadian transaction levels rose 20%.

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