Oil Slump Means Buyers Are More Choosy In Driller Tie-Ups

By Keith Goldberg (October 23, 2020, 9:31 PM EDT) -- While consolidation is finally ramping up in the struggling U.S. oil industry, the recent string of driller mergers shows that companies carrying too much debt will likely be left behind as buyers snap up companies with cleaner balance sheets.

Back-to-back tie-ups announced this week between ConocoPhillips Co. and Concho Resources and Pioneer Natural Resources and Parsley Energy mark four multibillion-dollar oil and gas producer mergers since July. And all four deals share similar DNA: all-stock transactions between companies with relatively valuable drilling assets and manageable debt loads.

Meanwhile, drillers with larger debt piles and less valuable assets are hitting the bankruptcy...

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