Executive Q&A: How ESG is Driving Oil and Gas M&A Activity

A finance expert discusses why ESG is playing a significant role in the types of target businesses that buyers are looking at in the oil and gas industry.


"One of the most tried-and-true ways of transitioning any business is through M&A, and the clean energy transition is no exception," Peter Wolf, corporate and securities partner at law firm Mayer Brown, told Hart Energy.

If there has been one common theme in the oil and gas sector’s recent dealmaking activity, it’s more focused than ever on ESG issues. Buyers are willing to pass on deals that do not align with their ESG goals, which otherwise would have been attractive from an earnings standpoint.

According to 2021 market data, there were 798 M&A deals across industries that were considered “sustainable” by data provider Refinitiv, representing a stunning 44% year-over-year increase.

Peter Wolf, corporate and securities partner at law firm Mayer Brown, spoke with Hart Energy about how ESG considerations are playing a decisive role during the M&A process.

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Faiza Rizvi

Faiza Rizvi is a senior editor of ESG for Hart Energy's editorial department, with a strong focus on E&P Plus and HartEnergy.com. She has been covering all facets of the U.S. and international energy industry for over 5 years.