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Global Oil & Gas Industry Outlook

The global oil and gas industry is expected to remain relatively stable in 2019, even amid oversupply risks and volatile pricing, as oil demand continues to increase. Oil usage is expected to grow by more than 3.5 million barrels per day.

 Key Industry Trends for 2019

  • Natural gas remains a major player as a generator of lower-carbon power, especially in North America. Over the next decade, it is expected to surpass coal to become the second-largest source of fuel worldwide.
  • China and India are leading the way in overall energy demand growth. India is projected to have the largest additional oil demand and fastest growth through 2040.
  • U.S. sanctions on top exporters such as Iran and Venezuela continue to affect the global oil industry, as a retraction in the oil supply leads to inflated global oil prices.
  • Improvements in infrastructure are becoming more critical because production and the physical ability to move products directly impacts pricing.
  • The oil and gas pipeline market is predicted to grow at more than 6% by 2024.
  • Sustainability is becoming a more central issue as renewable energy draws more investment from oil companies, and both consumers and companies wish to mitigate methane emissions.
  • The industry is focusing on how digital technologies can improve capital productivity. Robotics, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and data analytics are being implemented to enhance efficiency and production.
  • The oilfield services sector will see a 10 to 15 percent increase in earnings, with a positive outlook for offshore oilfield services. There are more than 100 new projects planned for 2019 approvals and $210 billion earmarked for offshore oilfield services worldwide.
  • After years of limitations, deepwater exploration and production activity is likely to resurge this year with a spike in investments in deepwater projects.

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Increased Drilling Activity

2019 is experiencing increased activity in global oil and gas drilling, led by the United States due to shale production. Outside the United States, global drilling activity is expected to rise by 2.5 percent. Across the world’s eight major oil and gas producing regions, each is predicted to see a higher number of wells drilled.

2019 Forecasted Percentage Increase in Drilling Activity by Region

Africa: 8.7 percent

Saudi Arabia: 5.4 percent

North America: 5.1 percent

Western Europe: 3.9 percent

South Pacific: 3 percent

United Arab Emirates: 2.5 percent

Far East/South Asia: 2.6 percent

South America: 1.7 percent

Eastern Europe/Former Soviet Union: 1.4 percent

Iraq: 1 percent

The most growth in the overall global drilling market will be in offshore oil and gas drilling, with expected growth at around 6 percent. The most active offshore drilling regions are Brazil, Canada, Norway, Angola, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, China, and India.

Rystad Energy has reported that global deepwater liquid production is set to reach a record high of 10.3 million barrels per day in 2019. This is a result of new fields in Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico. Other leading deepwater producers include Angola, Norway, and Nigeria.

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Top 10 Industries for Private Equity Investment Revealed

A study by Private Equity Info has identified the top 10 industries that private equity firms have been acquiring during 2018. Below is a breakdown of the industries along with why they have been so popular with private equity firms.

1. Manufacturing

Manufacturing features on the list, in part, as a result of advancements in manufacturing. With automation, processes are made more efficient in many different sectors such as technology, aerospace, automobile and medical devices, making manufacturing companies an attractive prospect for private equity firms as they can utilise the technology in their portfolio companies and it is a good investment.

Watermill Group is a prime example of a private equity firm acquiring manufacturing companies. It currently has three manufacturing companies in its portfolio and within the past year acquired Andaray (Holdings) Limited and its subsidiary Cooper & Turner.

Commenting on this, Steve Karol, Managing Partner at Watermill Group said, “We are bullish on manufacturing in North America. Advanced manufacturing is creating a lot of new opportunities in many different sectors for many different companies.”

 2. Software

Similar to manufacturing, the software industry is popular with private equity firms as it can be utilised within other sectors for their advancement.

Software can be utilised in all manner of sectors and is proving particularly popular in retail as it can detect changes in customer attitude. While a valuable asset to have, it is incredibly difficult for other sectors to replicate what the software can do, therefore lends itself as an add-on to other companies.

Proof of this is within European M&A. Within the last year, software M&A activity set a new record for the number of transactions conducted and one of the main drivers for this growth was private equity, with statistics from Mergermarket showing that there were $11.2 billion of private equity deals conducted out of the $24.7 billion overall total for 2017.

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 3. Technology

Once again, private equity is investing as technology is a useful asset to be used to improve portfolio companies.

What has been interesting over the past year is how private equity firms, themselves, have started to utilise technology for their own benefit, not just for the benefit of portfolio companies. For example, artificial intelligence systems are now being used to screen investment opportunities. This phenomenon is not expected to slow down either, as a survey by Coller Capital shows three quarters of investors believe their private equity programmes could be improved by the use of external data sources such as third party software and cloud applications to the digital marketplace.

 

 4. Healthcare

There is an interest in healthcare from private equity given the fact that this is a growth sector because of the ageing population and the fact that the system is fragmented and needs to be consolidated. Recent acquisitions in this industry include that of Envision Healthcare by KKR in June 2018.

It’s particularly good news for healthcare companies in the UK, as private equity firms have been increasingly active in this market, believing the sector will fare well throughout Brexit.

 

5. Data

Data, in a similar way to technology, has been popular with private equity firms because of both acquiring the assets for their portfolio companies and because data can be used within the transactions themselves.

The use of data and analytics in private equity is gaining momentum as it can be used to identify issues at a quicker rate and focus the due diligence process, enabling both the buyer and seller to close a deal faster. It is important that a deal can be closed quickly for private equity firms, as record amount of dry powder available means that there is a lot more competition in the market.

 

 6. Oil & Gas

As the oil & gas industry has strengthened in 2018 with a rise in commodity prices, costs and emerging technology the market is forecast to accelerate, with an expected global value of $2,627.4bn by the end of 2022, compared to $1,977.3bn in 2017.

This could make the industry an attractive prospect to private equity buyers although, that being said, oil & gas has always been a popular industry for private equity investment as it is a commodity that is always in demand, it produces a steady cash flow, there are high barriers to entry into the market, and it attracts strong profits.

 

7. Medical

While the medical industry has some crossover with healthcare, there is more of a focus on the area of medical devices, particularly within manufacturing and research. As innovative new drugs and devices are continually coming to market this is attractive for private equity. A recent acquisition in this sphere includes Mérieux Développement and Gimv’s acquisition of Stiplastics Healthcaring.

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8. Construction/10. Engineering

While construction and engineering appeared in eighth and tenth places respectively, there has been an increased presence of private equity firms in the combined engineering and construction industry. While last year saw an increase in private equity exits, there was also an increase in acquisition activity.

One notable transaction in 2017 was that of Warburg Pincus’ acquisition of Service Logic. This acquisition is a key example of why private equity interest has increased as Service Logic is a HVAC and mechanical services provider, an area which private equity firms are eager to enter because of the recurring revenues available. There has been even more interest in recent years as the aftermarket is growing as a result of a need for it within the construction industry.

 

 9. Transportation & Logistics

Private equity in the transportation & logistics industry has emerged as a large player since the 2008 financial crisis as it worked at consolidating a fragmented market and financing expansion. In 2014, there was a shift to publicly trading companies acquiring transportation & logistics companies, and private equity took advantage of a buyers’ market and sold. By 2015, however, private equity was back to being the main contender as spending slowed down from publicly traded companies due to their stock prices falling, whereas private equity had the necessary resources.

One such company that specialises in transportation & logistics acquisitions is Greenbriar Equity Group, with the majority of its current portfolio dating back to 2015. Some of its recent acquisitions include The Whitcraft Group (April 2017) and LaserShip (March 2018).

 

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Good news for Oil & Gas M&A in the U.K.?

Siccar Point Energy, an exploration and pipelining company based in Aberdeen and backed by private-equity, have pulled off a significant deal to acquire OMV’s North Sea interests. The $1bn deal is estimated to be the largest for the offshore energy industry in the UK, following the severe drop in crude prices. This is the second significant deal of the year that the highly acquisitive firm has made in the North Sea.

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October hits record high for global M&A

In the last week of October alone, five multi-billion dollar deals contributed to an unprecedented month of mega deals for M&A. In particular, renewed confidence in the US economy has buoyed deal activity, despite the impending presidential election, with over half a trillion dollars’ worth of deals announced globally last month.

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Energy M&A Set to Accelerate

The steep drop in the price of crude oil created significant instability and uncertainty across the sector, and traditionally-run organisations have had to make strategic adjustments and difficult decisions amid the crisis. Despite the recent challenges facing the Oil & Gas sector, the energy industry as a whole remains the most active sector within M&A, with dealmakers predicting that activity is set to rapidly accelerate over the next 12 months.

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