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Big Oil will get even bigger

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 18.34.00FROM AN ARTICLE BY FIONA MAHARG-BRAVO PUBLISHED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES FRIDAY 2 JAN 2015

It’s not clear that Shell, the wallflower in the 1990s, will make a move. Exxon and other majors in the United States might be tempted. Either way, chances are Big Oil will get even bigger… 

There was $383 billion in mergers and acquisitions in the oil and gas sector last year, as of Dec. 11. Yet Europe has largely missed out: About three-quarters of the targets have been in North America, according to Thomson Reuters data. Shale has played a big role. In 2015, oil and gas bankers in Europe will get a bigger slice of the action.

The last big fall in oil prices, at the end of 2008, was too short to push a big merger and acquisition wave.

BP’s former chairman, John Browne, wrote in his memoir that a merger with Shell, pondered while he was at the helm, might have delivered $9 billion in annual synergies.

BP faces big liabilities in the Gulf of Mexico and volatility in Russia. BG Group of Britain has long been a target, and the new chief executive starts in March. It’s not clear that Shell, the wallflower in the 1990s, will make a move. Exxon and other majors in the United States might be tempted. Either way, chances are Big Oil will get even bigger next year.

FULL ARTICLE

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