After attending this year’s summer NAPE (North American Prospect Expo) event, the common theme was “2019.” Everyone was preparing, planning and infield developing for exits in early 2019. The amount of marketed operated deals at the event (and as a collective total across all platforms) was minimal through Quarter three. Unless you have a target acquisition in mind (on or off-market) and are willing to pay higher than PV-10, the amount of transactions by the end of the year should be in single digits. It’s the start of an early winter. With that being said, 2019 looks to be a great year. With infield developments propping up higher BOPD numbers, the exits (both private equity backed and not) will be publicized in December and January.
On the off-market side, we are finding nearly half a dozen deals a week and closing about four deals a month. The transactions are only happening because of on-the-ground communication and not interpreted data. It’s actual conversations between the people that own and operate the wells today, and the people that want to own and operate the wells tomorrow. It’s that communication (especially in today’s tech driven world) that has caused the marketed stall of deals.
We have seen a shift in the type of assets companies are looking for, as they are more concerned that the price of oil will drop to $40 than they are if the price remains at $70. Each operator we talk to is looking for low cost operations, a technically sound team (both in the field and in the office) and those requirements are not in large supply. The labor force and assets are both available, but the companies that are buyers are only considering decline curves and asset value based on reserves. Which is a great start, but having a 30-year veteran in the field running the operations is an asset that is highly undervalued in 2018.
Low labor numbers (or inexperienced labor) will account for a huge hurdle for the remainder of 2018. I heard three different stories about frac jobs gone wrong because of inexperience. Teams with knowledge will be in the highest demand, and the acquisition market won’t be any different.
Brace yourself for an early winter as the deals come to a freezing point, or find a team that can help you target off-market deals to get something bought before the marketed frenzy of 2019.
Josh Robbins is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Beachwood Marketing. He has consulted and provided solutions for several industries, however, the majority of his consulting solutions have been in manufacturing, energy and oil and gas. Mr. Robbins has over 15 years of excellent project leadership in business development and is experienced in all aspects of oil and gas acquisitions and divestitures. He has extensive business relationships with a demonstrated ability to conduct executive level negotiations. He has developed sustainable solutions, successfully marketing oil and natural gas properties cost-effectively and efficiently. Beachwood strives to partner with top tier oil and gas firms to find off-market deals that provide maximum benefit to their corporate acquisition strategy. At Beachwood, Mr. Robbins manages the corporate branding, senior staff, and the Beachwood Strategic Consulting Group, including sales strategy development for all of the Beachwood clients. Josh has been featured in numerous trade magazines as he is an accomplished writer and speaker on the acquisition and divestment market. He writes a bi-monthly acquisition and divestiture column for Oilman Magazine that has a social reach of an estimated 145,200 views per issue. The best way to reach Mr. Robbins is through email.
Oil and gas operations are commonly found in remote locations far from company headquarters. Now, it's possible to monitor pump operations, collate and analyze seismic data, and track employees around the world from almost anywhere. Whether employees are in the office or in the field, the internet and related applications enable a greater multidirectional flow of information – and control – than ever before.