[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the July 2018 edition of Oil and Gas Investor. Subscribe to the magazine here.]

Upstream megadeals, and even half-billion dollar deals, appear to have taken off the first half of the year.

There is no reason to panic. E&Ps are still jostling for better positions.

Most analysts’ data show deal activity to be flat or declining and deal values nosediving compared to last year, depending on which deals are counted. Some scorekeepers start their deal-o-meter at $20 million transactions, others at $50 million.

Lost in these stats is the underappreciated art of the acreage swaps, which don’t come with a flashy, easily calculated sticker price. Permian Basin trades that shift 55,000 net acres from one company to another don’t count.

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