Global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) upstream deal count nearly doubled in the second quarter 2009 from a 10-year low in the first quarter 2009, spurred by a resurgence in oil prices and a thaw in equity and credit markets, according to research prepared by IHS Herold Inc., an IHS company IHS Herold is a specialized research and consulting firm focusing on valuation, strategy, and performance measurement of the world’s leading oil and gas companies. Chris Sheehan, IHS Herold director of M&A research, says, “Both U.S. onshore and international deal counts increased significantly, although North American activity remained well below historical averages. International pricing for proved plus probable reserves held firm on stronger crude oil prices, but falling gas prices plunged North American asset deal prices to the lowest level since 2005. The upsurge in activity in the second quarter is encouraging, but the market is still extremely volatile.” IHS Herold will provide detailed insights into the outlook for upstream M&A at its upcoming 18th Pacesetters Energy Conference, to be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, on September 22 through 24, 2009, and featuring three keynote speakers and 15 panels. Herold reported that second quarter 2009 total transaction value increased four-fold outside North America, driven by strong activity in the Africa and Middle East region and upturns in Europe and Asia-Pacific. Total worldwide transaction value was flat at $28.4 billion, as first quarter 2009 figures were buttressed by the $20 billion Suncor-PetroCanada merger. National oil companies represented nearly 40% of global deal value, including Sinopec’s $8.8-billion agreement to acquire Addax Petroleum, the largest overseas upstream transaction by a Chinese company.