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Oil, gas deal tracker: Deals fall YOY in August, but merger value rises

Oil and gas M&A deal-making in August fell from year-ago levels despite two major corporate consolidations, one in North America and one in Australia, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

The industry announced fewer whole-company and minority-stake deals in August 2021 than in August 2020 — 31 deals compared to 35. Yet in the same period, the combined value of deals rose to $7.48 billion from $5.24 billion, due largely to a pair of major deals involving North American and Australian oil and gas producers.

The number of announced asset transactions decreased to 32 from 40, and their aggregate value fell about $1.49 billion to $1.26 billion.

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Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s $2.2 billion acquisition of Haynesville Shale neighbor Vine Energy Inc. was the biggest deal announced in August. The acquisition would incur more than $1 billion in debt to Chesapeake, which recently emerged from bankruptcy.

"We're not going to break our balance sheet. We are not the Chesapeake of the past," Interim CEO and Chairman Michael Wichterich said, trying to reassure analysts on a conference call to discuss the Vine deal and the second quarter's results.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd.'s merger with global natural resources company BHP Group was a significant August deal from Australia. The planned merger would create the biggest energy company listed on the Australian stock exchange, with a global top 10 position in the LNG sector by production.

"The combined company will have a high-margin oil portfolio, long-life LNG assets and the financial resilience to help supply the energy needed for global growth and development over the energy transition," Woodside CEO Meg O'Neill said during an investor briefing.

The biggest North American asset-level transaction during August was Primexx Energy Partners Ltd.'s announced $604 million sale of leasehold interests and related oil, gas and infrastructure assets to Callon Petroleum Co. The transaction would include a consideration of $337.3 million in cash and 7.04 million shares of Callon stock issued to Primexx, subject to closing adjustments.

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