April has become a kind of cliché for bad months—T.S. Eliot’s cup runneth over—but what a mess this one left behind for May. Forget the hand sanitizer—this requires the magic of Clorox.

This is a tough environment in which to live, let alone make oil and gas deals. Still hanging in the May air is the raw sting of enmity, childish China-blaming and the constant uptick of coronavirus deaths.

The deals, such as they were, mainly involved last-minute reshoots, as bad a sign in M&A as in the movies. Devon Energy Corp. rebooted its Barnett Shale asset sale, potentially adding $60 million to the price from buyer Kalnin Ventures LLC. Alta Mesa Resources Inc.’s editing room floor, already slick with splices, saw another $100 million leak out of its deal with Mach Resources LLC as the company struggled to escape from bankruptcy.

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