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This Deal Signals Big Changes in One Of Energy’s Most Exciting Sectors

There are a lot of under-appreciated changes going on in energy markets right now.

Most of them are driven by unconventional drilling. A phenomenon that’s exploded across North America—and changed the game for oil and gas production.

That’s had a number of effects. Some obvious—and others very subtle.

Like what’s happening offshore. Where savvy exploration and development firms are now moving to apply unconventional drilling technology and techniques. Unlocking millions of barrels of new reserves—and creating industry-leading returns on drilling dollars.

Just this month we saw another step in that saga. With up-and-coming Gulf of Mexico producer Fieldwood Energy buying another shallow-water asset package, this time from SandRidge Energy (NYSE: SD). Fieldwood is paying $750 million for the assets—bringing the company’s total M&A budget in the Gulf to $4.5 billion over the last four months.

That’s a huge amount sunk on properties in a place most industry insiders wrote off a long time ago as being over the hill in terms of oil output. But Fieldwood obviously thinks differently. And the firm should know—its parent company, energy private equity giant Riverstone Holdings, counts amongst its partners the likes of James Hackett, former head of major Gulf player Anadarko.

We’re going to be hearing a lot more about that story. A savvy investor like Riverstone simply wouldn’t…

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