AUSTIN, Texas, April 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Enverus, the leading energy SaaS company, has released its summary of 1Q21 U.S. upstream M&A activity. The report shows $3.4 billion in deal value was transacted an 88% decline from 4Q20. This is the third year in a row U.S. activity has started slow.
Q1 deal activity largely focused on production-heavy assets in legacy oil plays. Combined, the Bakken and Eagle Ford accounted for two-thirds of deal value. A strong rally in crude oil prices improving cash flow from these more developed areas likely helped spur the additional buyer interest.
Another distinguishing factor of Q1 activity was involvement by private equity. The top two deals of the quarter were acquisitions by private equity-sponsored E&Ps: Grayson Mill Energy's $900 million buy in the Bakken and Validus Energy's $880 million Eagle Ford purchase. The next two largest deals were sales by Bruin E&P (formerly private equity-backed and then owned by creditors following a bankruptcy reorganization) and Grenadier Energy Partners II, which was sponsored by EnCap and Kayne Anderson. Then, the first day of Q2 opened with a sale by Permian-focused DoublePoint Energy, which has at least four private sponsors, to Pioneer in the largest acquisition of a private E&P in a decade.