As global benchmark oil prices continue to rise, M&A activity in the upstream sector in Canada continues to fall, according to a new report from CanOils.
March saw just C$224 million in new deals, the third month in a row where deal values fell, bringing Q1/2018’s total to C$1.9 billion. This stands in stark contrast to March 2017, where Canadian M&A activity made headlines all over the world with C$32 billion in new deals as Cenovus Energy and Canadian Natural Resources took huge steps to increase their positions in the oilsands sector.
March 2018 saw the lowest levels of activity since August 2017, when just C$194 million in new upstream deals were announced.
Suncor Energy has dominated the activity that we have seen in this year’s quiet first quarter. Acquisitions announced by the company have made up 68 percent of all upstream Canadian deals in Q1/2018 in terms of deal value. Earlier in the year, Suncor announced two oilsands mining acquisitions for a combined C$1.2 billion and, this month the company completed a deal to take a 37 percent stake in private Montney producer Canbriam Energy Inc.
The largest single deal of the month will see Saskatchewan-focused Cona Resources taken into wholly private ownership by Waterous Energy Fund, its majority shareholder.
Asset packages for sale
Despite the falling deal values, companies are still busy listing significant asset packages for sale. The majority of the 32,200 boe/d of production listed this month revolved around companies initiating strategic review processes. The largest review process now underway involves Raging River Exploration.
For details on the latest Canadian oil and gas M&A including worldwide deal profiles and a comprehensive listing of assets recently put up for sale, download the latest complimentary CanOils report.