Industry pundits have predicted—wished for, even—E&P consolidation for years. That time is nigh. Since July, six corporate combos have been announced; three in October alone. Surf’s up, and the merger waves are crashing onshore.

The pain of 2020’s sustained low oil and gas prices has prodded recalcitrant sellers to the bargaining table. Major integrated oil company Chevron Corp. stirred the waters first with its $13 billion absorption of Noble Energy Inc. That created surfable swells for Southwestern Energy Co. to buy Montage Resources Corp. ($865 million), Devon Energy Corp. to pair up with WPX Energy Inc. ($5.7 billion), ConocoPhillips Co. to woo Permian favorite Concho Resources Inc. ($9.7 billion), Pioneer Natural Resources Co. to roll in Parsley Energy Inc. ($7.6 billion) and even a joint run between microcaps Contango Oil & Gas Co. and former MLP Mid-Con Energy Partners.

All the deals were low-to-no premium, all-stock agreements.

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