Infrastructure

Middle East unrest keeps oil and gas commodity prices high

Geopolitical unrest has curtailed oil and gas production, keeping prices relatively high during the first half of 2014

According to a new report from Deloitte, oil and gas commodity prices have remained high due to political unrest in the region.  Kenneth McKellar, partner in charge of the energy and resources industry at Deloitte Middle East, said: “Largely because of geopolitical unrest that has curtailed production from Libya, Iraq, and Iran, commodity prices have remained relatively high for the first half of the year, and expectations for continued upward pressure on prices for the remainder of the year may make producers less likely to part with assets.

Meanwhile, natural gas prices have remained stable, and the potential for increased demand from US exports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) may draw some new buyers to the market as they look to increase their exposure to gas.”

The reported titled ‘Mergers and Acquisitions Report – Midyear 2014: The deal market may be poised for a rebound,’ noted that the first half of 2014 saw a continuation of many of the oil and gas industry trends present in 2013. Companies continue to be focused on cost containment and organic growth, particularly in the upstream sector, where producers are looking to ensure they have the right mix of properties in their portfolio.

According to the report, a total of 299 Merger and Acquisition (M&A) transactions were completed in the first six months of 2014 in the oil and gas industry globally, one less than in the same period a year earlier. The total value of deals in the first half of 2014 rose by nearly $40bn globally, to $141bn from $102bn in the first half of 2013.

The United States and Canada accounted for 61% of all deal activity, though this percentage slipped slightly from the first half of 2013. In the first half of the year, both Asia and South America saw increases in their share of the deal count rising nearly 20% and 50%, respectively.

“The uptick in deal activity in June of this year could signify a stronger deal market in the second half of the year. Upward pressure on commodity prices is likely to drive more transactions, and private equity investors, in particular, are likely to continue to show interest and be a source of capital,” said Humphry Hatton, CEO of Deloitte Corporate Finance Limited, regulated by the Dubai International Financial Center.

 Highlights of the report include:

  • North American shale plays continue to dominate the deal market in the exploration and production (E&P) sector.
  • The oilfield services sector saw an increase in deal value, thanks in part to three large deals, and margin pressure from the E&P sector may drive additional consolidation among middle market players.
  • There has been a dramatic slowdown in deal activity in the midstream sector during 2014 after a flurry of transactions in 2012 and 2013.

‘Mergers and Acquisitions Report – Midyear 2014: The deal market may be poised for a rebound,’ which delivers the insights of Deloitte mergers and acquisitions specialists on what is driving activity in the oil and gas industry may be downloaded at: http://bit.ly/1Au9KDY

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