• 12 hours Shell Oil Trading Head Steps Down After 29 Years
  • 16 hours Higher Oil Prices Reduce North American Oil Bankruptcies
  • 18 hours Statoil To Boost Exploration Drilling Offshore Norway In 2018
  • 19 hours $1.6 Billion Canadian-US Hydropower Project Approved
  • 21 hours Venezuela Officially In Default
  • 23 hours Iran Prepares To Export LNG To Boost Trade Relations
  • 1 day Keystone Pipeline Leaks 5,000 Barrels Into Farmland
  • 1 day Saudi Oil Minister: Markets Will Not Rebalance By March
  • 1 day Obscure Dutch Firm Wins Venezuelan Oil Block As Debt Tensions Mount
  • 2 days Rosneft Announces Completion Of World’s Longest Well
  • 2 days Ecuador Won’t Ask Exemption From OPEC Oil Production Cuts
  • 2 days Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Proposes To Ditch Oil Stocks
  • 2 days Ecuador Seeks To Clear Schlumberger Debt By End-November
  • 2 days Santos Admits It Rejected $7.2B Takeover Bid
  • 2 days U.S. Senate Panel Votes To Open Alaskan Refuge To Drilling
  • 2 days Africa’s Richest Woman Fired From Sonangol
  • 3 days Oil And Gas M&A Deal Appetite Highest Since 2013
  • 3 days Russian Hackers Target British Energy Industry
  • 3 days Venezuela Signs $3.15B Debt Restructuring Deal With Russia
  • 3 days DOJ: Protestors Interfering With Pipeline Construction Will Be Prosecuted
  • 3 days Lower Oil Prices Benefit European Refiners
  • 3 days World’s Biggest Private Equity Firm Raises $1 Billion To Invest In Oil
  • 4 days Oil Prices Tank After API Reports Strong Build In Crude Inventories
  • 4 days Iraq Oil Revenue Not Enough For Sustainable Development
  • 4 days Sudan In Talks With Foreign Oil Firms To Boost Crude Production
  • 4 days Shell: Four Oil Platforms Shut In Gulf Of Mexico After Fire
  • 4 days OPEC To Recruit New Members To Fight Market Imbalance
  • 4 days Green Groups Want Norway’s Arctic Oil Drilling Licenses Canceled
  • 4 days Venezuelan Oil Output Drops To Lowest In 28 Years
  • 4 days Shale Production Rises By 80,000 BPD In Latest EIA Forecasts
  • 5 days GE Considers Selling Baker Hughes Assets
  • 5 days Eni To Address Barents Sea Regulatory Breaches By Dec 11
  • 5 days Saudi Aramco To Invest $300 Billion In Upstream Projects
  • 5 days Aramco To List Shares In Hong Kong ‘For Sure’
  • 5 days BP CEO Sees Venezuela As Oil’s Wildcard
  • 5 days Iran Denies Involvement In Bahrain Oil Pipeline Blast
  • 7 days The Oil Rig Drilling 10 Miles Under The Sea
  • 8 days Baghdad Agrees To Ship Kirkuk Oil To Iran
  • 8 days Another Group Joins Niger Delta Avengers’ Ceasefire Boycott
  • 8 days Italy Looks To Phase Out Coal-Fired Electricity By 2025
Alt Text

Trudeau, Where Is Your Back Up Plan For The Arctic Ban?

The five-year moratorium on oil…

Alt Text

Can Iraq Dethrone Saudi Arabia In This Crucial Oil Market?

After significantly cutting its crude…

Alt Text

U.S. Shale To Beat Saudi Production Growth

In its latest report, the…

Is This The First In A Slew Of Megadeals In Oil?

Total

Oil prices have shown some weakness lately. With WTI slipping below $48 per barrel — after briefly topping $50 at the end of July. 

But even at that level, crude has now been relatively stable for over a year — trading between the low 40s and low 50s. 

And that predictability is bringing back petro-M&A. 

That included a mega-deal this week by one of the world’s largest oil companies. With the firm making its biggest outlay in buying new production since 1999.

In a place few observers expected. 

The company is French major Total. And the location is the North Sea. 

Total announced over the weekend that it will acquire the oil and gas unit of Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk — for a total deal value of $7.45 billion, including $4.95 billion in shares and assumption of $2.5 billion in debt. 

That’s the biggest deal Total has made in nearly two decades. And the buy is firmly focused on the North Sea — with 80 percent of the Maersk asset portfolio located in this region. 

That includes 160,000 barrels per day equivalent of production, which Total says it can expand to 200,000 boe/d by 2020. 

The deal is significant for a number of reasons. First because it’s a key signal that oil majors are getting comfortable doing deals again — after a freeze in spending triggered by the oil price crash of 2015. 

In fact, the Total deal is the biggest of the past year. Coming after Exxon Mobil announced spends like a $5.6 billion acquisition in the Permian Basin of Texas, and a $2.5 billion purchase of Papua New Guinea natural gas developer Interoil.  Related: Brazilian Corruption Charges Could Impact Mexico’s Oil Boom

This week’s deal also confirms a trend that’s been in motion for a few years now: a gradual resurgence of the North Sea. With this mature basin quietly attracting a lot of spending from some of the world’s biggest E&Ps.

Despite the big upside of Brazil or East Africa, the North Sea is a place many firms understand — with a proven track record of ease in finding and developing new oil and gas fields. 

That predictability still trumps high-impact geology for many majors. Watch for more deals in this space — and for a continuation of the general upswing in energy M&A currently in motion.

Here’s to known quantities.

By Dave Forest

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News