2009 M&A boosted by shale gas, oil sands and China

Energy M&A reached $150bn last year – a level not seen since 2006. The big trends in oil and gas corporate activity last year were unconventionals and national oil companies, according to Wood Mackenzie’s report on the subject.

National oil companies have been rising in the ranks for five years now – they carried out 17 per cent of M&A spending in 2009, according to the report.

Total energy M&A was $150bn, with two big unconventional deals accounting for more than a third of that: ExxonMobil’s $41bn XTO acquisition, and Suncor buying PetroCanada for $18bn.

Another $22bn was from Chinese NOCs, Korea’s KNOC and Columbia’s Ecopetrol.

When foreign mergers and acquisitions by NOCs’ are counted, the rate of growth is steep indeed:

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