Energy Valuation Insights

A weekly update on issues important to the oil and gas industry

Current Events Domestic Production

Themes from Q1 Earnings Calls

Upstream (E&P) and Oilfield Service (“OFS”) Companies

In our prior earnings call post, Themes from Q4 2023 Earnings Calls, we touched on the global focus of both the Upstream and OFS segments and the persistent drive to optimize efficiency in well operations and services with technological advancements, durable inventory, and more. This week, we explore the Q1 2024 earnings calls of upstream and OFS companies, highlighting the appearance of this quarter’s themes across the entire sector: dividends and buybacks and a boost to the gas market.

Current Events Special Topics

Oilfield Water Industry Update, Trends, and the Future

The oilfield water industry (OFW, or midstream water) continues to grow in importance within the general upstream energy industry.  So much so that while historically considered part of the Oilfield Services Industry (OFS), midstream water is now considered its own industry within the upstream space, separate from the more general OFS.  In this week’s Energy Valuation Insights blog, we explore the current status, trends, and expectations for the future of midstream water.

Current Events Eagle Ford Shale Mergers, Acquisitions, & Divestitures

SilverBow’s Shareholder Brawl

It’s an election year, and the battle is on. SilverBow Resources, a publicly traded oil and gas company operating in South Texas’ Eagle Ford shale, is wrapped up in a big conflict with some of its own shareholders. Kimmeridge Energy Management, both a large shareholder and a rival operator in the Eagle Ford, has proposed a merger (which it, at least temporarily, withdrew last month), and now is proposing several new board members in a proxy battle. The primary question centers on the direction of SilverBow’s value enhancement strategy. However, it appears this strategy hinges, in part, on its debt position, and dividend policy. Management has one idea on how this should go; Kimmeridge clearly has another.

Current Events Domestic Production Special Topics

The Inside “SCOOP”

The SCOOP/STACK is a significant oil and gas play found in the Anadarko Basin of Oklahoma. Historically, the Anadarko Basin has been a prolific area for oil and gas extraction. It spans approximately 70,000 square miles across Western Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle, and parts of Southwestern Kansas and Southeastern Colorado. The basin’s geology features some of the thickest and highest-quality shale reservoirs in the United States, making it an attractive site for drilling and production. Given that fact pattern, it might surprise some to learn that activity in the SCOOP/STACK has been sluggish, to say the least, in recent times.

Bakken Shale Mergers, Acquisitions, & Divestitures

The Beginning of a Bakken Behemoth

Chord Energy and Enerplus

In a significant development for the energy industry, on February 21, 2024, Chord Energy Corporation and Enerplus Corporation announced a definitive agreement to merge. This strategic combination aims to create a powerhouse in the Williston Basin, leveraging their complementary strengths and operational expertise. But acquisitions are not the only transactions happening in the Bakken. The University of North Dakota received substantial federal funding to investigate the potential of utilizing captured carbon dioxide to enhance oil recovery in the Bakken. As these narratives develop, only time will tell how both will shape the future of the area.

Eagle Ford Shale Mergers, Acquisitions, & Divestitures

Just Released | 1Q24 Exploration & Production Newsletter


The 1Q24 issue of Mercer Capital’s Exploration & Production newsletter focuses on the Eagle Ford. Despite significant rig-count declines, Eagle Ford production declined only modestly over the twelve months ended March 2024, aided by a significant number of DUCs going into production. Reasonably steady commodity prices helped offset the basin’s production decline, allowing the region’s comp group to post favorable price increases over the review period.

In addition to our overview of the Eagle Ford, this newsletter also contains:

– Oil and Gas Commodity Price Update
– Macro Update
– Industry M&A Activity
– Public Company Performance
– Production Update
– Rig Counts

Download the newsletter to stay up to date on the industry.

Domestic Production Special Topics

Oil & Gas Roadblocks: Prices, Production, and People Holding Sway

There are always going to be barriers to success in an industry. Barriers to entry, barriers to growth, barriers to profitability, and barriers to progress can lurk to name a few. The upstream industry has its share. For gas, its own oversupply and low prices are an issue. For oil, capital constraints are reining in investment. Both commodities also thirst for quality labor to fuel growth and longer-term underlying optimism, but that workforce does not exist right now and may take a while to develop. What does this mean for the future of the industry?

Mergers, Acquisitions, & Divestitures Special Topics

5 Reasons Upstream Sellers Need a Quality of Earnings Report

M&A deal flow was sidelined for much of 2022 and 2023, but pent-up M&A demand is expected to compel buyers and sellers to renew their efforts in 2024 and beyond. As deal activity recovers, sellers need to be prepared to present their value proposition in a compelling manner. This is when having an independent Quality of Earnings Report tailored to the seller’s needs becomes crucial. In this post, we review five reasons sellers benefit from a QofE report when responding to an acquisition offer or preparing to take their business models or assets to market.

Special Topics Valuation Issues

The Benefits of a Quality of Earnings Analysis for E&P Companies

As we’ve often highlighted on this blog, transaction activity in the O&G sector has waned in recent years. Rather than utilizing free cash flows to support expansions via acquisitions, companies have emphasized capital discipline, favoring dividend payouts and buybacks. With this thinning of the buyer market, its more important than ever for a potential seller to be able to provide potential buyers with a clear picture of the company’s capacity for generating cash flows.

In that light, we thought our readers would appreciate a recent Mercer Capital slide deck on quality of earnings (QofE) analysis. The purpose of a QofE analysis is to translate historical reported (GAAP) earnings into a relevant picture of earnings and cash flow that is useful in developing credible forward-looking estimates. The stakes are high in the transaction arena. Whether embarking on a sale process or responding to an unsolicited inquiry, sellers have precious few opportunities to set the tone. A QofE process equips sellers with the confidence of understanding their own position while engaging the buy-side with awareness and transparency that promotes a more efficient negotiating process and the best opportunity for a favorable outcome. Read more in this week’s post.

Eagle Ford Shale

Eagle Ford Production Edges Down on Sharply Reduced Drilling

In the twelve months ending March 2024, the Eagle Ford basin experienced a modest decline in oil production counterbalanced between significant drops in rig counts and the entrance of drilled but uncompleted wells (DUCs) alongside technological advancements. While commodity prices fluctuated, overall stability was seen coupled with favorable stock price increases for companies in the Eagle Ford comp group. Despite a downturn in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the region, experts anticipate a resurgence in 2024, highlighting the enduring value of the Eagle Ford shale’s core areas for operators with prime acreage.

Oil & Gas

Mercer Capital provides oil and gas companies, oil and gas servicers, and mineral & royalty owners with corporate valuation, asset valuation, litigation support, transaction advisory, and related services