[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the August 2021 issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine.]

It seemed, in early 2020, as if the vast ocean of M&A deals had crashed down for a final time, and the waves had stilled. Was this how the world of oil and gas cashed out?

By fall, the industry’s shut-in wellbores—overfilled at times with panic and a worthless commodity—slowly came to life. News of a COVID-19 vaccine restored some faith, and gradually rising commodity prices restored a little more.

With prices in the $5/bbl range, the Permian Basin and other favored plays began to create giants as consolidation deals ruled in 2020 and so far this year are still playing a major role in transaction value. More is likely to come.

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