The bright side of first-half 2019 A&D activity is that it’s difficult to see how it could get worse any time soon.

First-quarter transactions “screeched to a halt” in the first quarter, with the lowest quarterly deal value recorded in a decade, according to Raymond James’ analysis. A bounce back in deal values in the second quarter rested heavily on the shoulders of Occidental Petroleum Corp.’s merger with Anadarko Petroleum Corp. in a deal valued between $57 billion and $64 billion. 

Around the edges of the supernova merger burned a pale corona of asset deals. In the Bakken, Permian, Eagle Ford, Marcellus and Haynesville, PwC counted just nine upstream shale deals in second-quarter 2019.

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