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Shale Land Grab Tops Mergers as Buyers Await Better Oil Outlook

  • Explorers favor acreage purchases over M&A: Bloomberg data
  • Over half U.S. E&P deals so far this year were land sales

The buyer’s market that the battered U.S. shale patch has become is so far luring more land purchases than takeovers as investors await a more solid crude price rebound before making bigger moves.

Handshakes between U.S. oil and gas explorers have had more to do with acquisitions of coveted acreage in the Permian Basin straddling West Texas and New Mexico, or Oklahoma’s Scoop and Stack areas, than agreements to share a head office and a logo.