This Week’s Market Buzz

  • At press time, Brent futures fell 67 cents, or 0.8%, to $87.71 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 58 cents, or 0.7%, to $84.97.
  • Global upstream merger and acquisition (M&A) deals rebounded to pre-Covid-19 levels in 2021, reaching a total of $181 billion, a 70% increase over 2020, Rystad Energy research shows. The total deal value for 2021 was the highest in three years and almost reached the highs seen in 2017 and 2018 of $205 billion and $199 billion, respectively. Sellers faced difficulty finding buyers during the downturn in 2020, but that ended last year as big deals made a comeback on high commodity prices and a strengthening market. Deals valued at more than $1 billion accounted for $126 billion, or 70%, of the global total. The share of $1 billion-plus deals rose almost three-fold, with 35 such deals announced in 2021 compared with just 13 in 2020.
  • Fracking companies in America’s hottest oil field are facing earthquakes. Shale companies in West Texas will have to pay more to move millions of barrels of wastewater that surfaces from oil wells and can aggravate tectonic fault lines when deposited underground. A recent spate of earthquakes prompted state regulators to stop companies from pumping as much water underground, forcing some drillers to move water farther afield, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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