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US shale deal-making stirs to life

Domestic acquisitions gain momentum after woeful performance across the first three quarters of the year

US shale M&A activity is suddenly gathering pace from a lethargic first three quarters of the year as firms eye deal-making opportunities  Deal-making slumped to its lowest level in a decade in January-September on the back of Covid-19 uncertainty and no sign of anything but a moderate price recovery following the Q1 crash. But heading into the final quarter of the year, US independent ConocoPhillips agreed to acquire Texas-based Concho Resources for $13.3bn, the largest upstream shale deal since Australian producer BHP completed a $15bn takeover of independent Petrohawk in 2011 (see Fig. 1). And fellow US indie Pioneer Natural Resources struck a deal for shale peer Parsley Energy for $

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