Oil and gas production in the U.S. continues to grow. Last year the U.S. unseated Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading oil producer on a daily production basis. Side effects currently include choke points in pipeline capacity and a drop in prices for undeveloped oil and gas acreage.
Deals May Be Slow, But Production Remains Steady
Acquisition and divestiture activity in the Bakken for last twelve months has been minimal. The lack of deals, however, does not mean that activity or production hasn’t been meaningful. In fact, production has grown approximately 10% year-over-year through September with new well production per rig increasing over 29%. Also, while other major basins have been decreasing rig counts, the Bakken has remained steady year-over-year as of the end of September.
The economics of oil and gas production vary by region. The cost of producing oil and gas depends on the geological makeup of the reserve, depth of reserve, and cost to transport the raw crude to market. We can observe different costs in different regions depending on these factors. In this post, we take a closer look at the Bakken Shale.
Companies that have maintained a presence in the Bakken since the downturn in oil prices are beginning to reap the rewards of their patience. Rising oil prices have begat increases in production, and efficiencies gained in recent years have led to higher margins and increased production. As noted in last week’s post about transaction activity in the region, while the Permian Basin has received much of the attention recently, the Bakken certainly appears to be back in business.
Over the past year, followers of the oil and gas industry have taken note of the multitude of transactions occurring in the Permian Basin with large deal values and hefty multiples. But the price differential between WTI and other benchmarks has grown over the last few months, and some attention has moved from the Permian to other domestic shale plays. The activity in other regions such as the Bakken was at one point slow (when compared to the Permian) causing the recent increase in production and the swapping of acreage to fly under the radar while many were focused on Texas.
Transaction activity in the Bakken shale was both busy and revealing in the second half of 2017. Many of these deals marked the departure of a number of companies that were known to be active in the play, particularly Halcon Resources. Other companies, however, have remained. This post digs deeper into this.
As oil and gas prices remained low, deal volume picked up in the beginning of 2016 as companies were forced to sell assets in order to quickly generate cash to pay off debt and avoid bankruptcy. As the year continued, M&A activity increased and total deal value at the end of 2016 doubled that of 2015.
Each quarter, Mercer Capital’s Exploration & Production Industry newsletter provides an overview of the E&P sector, including world demand and supply, public market performance, valuation multiples for public companies, and a region focus. Mercer Capital closely follows oil and gas trends in the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, Bakken Shale, and Marcellus and Utica Shale. Last quarter our E&P newsletter, focused on the Bakken Shale. Today, we take a step back and review the broad characteristics of the Bakken Shale.
Each quarter, Mercer Capital’s Exploration & Production Industry newsletter provides an overview of the E&P sector, including world demand and supply, public market performance, valuation multiples for public companies, and a region focus. This quarter we focus on the Bakken Shale.
In order to survive, when producing is no longer economically feasible, production companies are selling “non-core” assets to generate the cash. M&A activity of Bakken assets has slowed in 2016, but most Bakken assets are selling for heavy discounts making them attractive to buyers. This posts discusses some of these transactions in light of the current environment.
Due to a precipitous drop in oil prices since June 2014, oil exploration and production companies in the US have struggled to pay their debts and in many cases have had to file for bankruptcy. This is the first post in a three part series examining how option pricing, a sophisticated valuation technique, can be used to understand the future potential of the assets most affected by low prices, PUDs and unproven reserves.