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Consolidation boomed in the shale patch last year
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Deals still to be done in US shale patch

Operators including majors have snapped up nearby acreage to leverage synergies at lower cost. But with oil prices higher and discounts potentially fading, will prolific spending slacken?

M&A opportunities in the US shale patch caught the attention of some of the largest players last year as consolidation boomed and large-scale takeovers gained traction. This year, boosted by low acreage prices, recovering WTI and a still financially strained sector, those with the most robust balance sheets may again be tempted to snap up complementary assets. Onshore acreage pricing took a beating in 2020 as WTI went into freefall. Consultancy Rystad Energy estimates that average prices declined by 70pc, dropping from $17,000/acre in 2018 to just $5,000/acre. Less financially strained operators were gifted with ample opportunities to purchase at a discount—as highlighted by acquisition

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