Upstream M&A slowed in fourth-quarter 2021 but overall the year finished strong with a 25% increase in deal value, which soared to $66 billion, according to a report by Enverus.

In the second year of a COVID-influenced market, activity in first-quarter 2021 was uneven with a slow beginning. The year ended similarly to as began as a $9 billion transacted in the fourth quarter tamped down values below the yearly $72 billion average seen from 2015-2019.

“Since the emergence of COVID, upstream M&A has been characterized by fewer, but larger, deals,” said Andrew Dittmar, director at Enverus. “During 2020 that took the form of public companies consolidating amongst themselves and in 2021 transitioned to a focus on rolling up private E&Ps.”

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