Oil and gas sector headed for consolidation, experts say

News of a blockbuster oil acquisition by Exxon Mobil suggests more focused consolidation to come in the global energy sector, experts said Wednesday, with one analyst suggesting the trend could drive oil prices down in the long run.

Oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp.’s has moved to buy Pioneer Natural Resources Co. for US$59.5 billion, marking the largest corporate acquisition so far this year. The two companies combined will control the equivalent of 16 billion barrels of crude reserves in the Permian region, according to a press release on the deal. 
Reid I’Anson, senior commodity analyst at Kpler, told BNN Bloomberg that such deals are likely to increase within the oil and gas sector as companies look to bring down their costs and become more efficient. 
“Consolidation allows for lower costs at the wellhead, it allows us to bring in more technology and it allows for more production stability,” he said in a television interview.
In this environment, I’Anson said he believes small and medium sized firms within the industry will likely become acquisition targets of other major oil names such as Chevron Corp. and Shell Plc.
“It’s this inevitable consolidation drive that we’re going to see,” he said.
L’Anson added that Exxon’s acquisition of Pioneer will drive oil prices down in the long run. 
“You have that economy of scale that’s going to help to drive more tech in the oil patch, that’s going to really help drive down oil prices,” he said. 

Exxon’s Pioneer acquisition suggests that U.S. companies are looking to buy the best acreage, rather than grow at any cost, Amrita Sen, founder and director of research of Energy Aspects, told BNN Bloomberg on Wednesday. 
“You are seeing a far more kind of concerted growth, better quality acreage only being exploited rather then any random piece of land being drilled,” she said in a television interview. “I think that is really here to stay.”
This approach will result is slower production growth from U.S. shale producers, Sen explained. 
“Shale production growth, or U.S. production growth, is going to be slower and it’s going to be more sustainable,” she said.

Source: https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/