Citigroup Inc. said Nov. 13 it hired four bankers to work on the buying and selling of oil and gas acreage, betting the dislocation in commodity markets in 2020 will yield more land deals among energy producers.
The quartet is led by Tony Fernandez, previously with boutique investment bank Intrepid Financial Partners, and also includes two hires from Jefferies Financial Group and another former Intrepid banker, according to a Citi statement.
The pace of mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. oil and gas sector has been the worst in a decade, according to data provider Enverus, as most shale producers remain reluctant to spend after an oil price crash earlier this year.
While the market for land deals has remained weak as firms eschew growth, some producer tie-ups have happened in the last few weeks, as companies seek scale to reduce costs.
More A&D deals could happen in 2021 though. Exxon Mobil Corp. said last month it was evaluating whether to sell natural gas holdings in North America as it grapples with market conditions. BP Plc wants to remake itself as a green energy company, which will require shrinking its oil and gas business over time.
“The sector has entered into consolidation phase and the A&D activity will likely pick up in 2021 as companies seek to deleverage, the energy market stabilizes and improves, and companies seek to divest of non-core assets post consolidation,” Stephen Trauber, global head of energy at Citi.
With the upstream industry navigating challenges due to remote operations, low oil prices and demand destruction, these new technologies, trends and collaborations in the area of data analytics will help companies increase efficiency and optimize operations.
BP and Delek Group-owned Ithaca Energy have started oil and gas production at the Vorlich field in Britain's central North Sea, the companies said on Thursday.
U.S. energy firms added oil and natural gas rigs this week, boosting the oil count for the fourth month in a row as producers return to the wellpad with crude prices mostly trading over $40 a barrel since mid June.