Global oil and gas deal activity recovered from a slow start last year, reaching $395 billion (£317bn).
That’s an increase from $340 billion (£273bn) in 2015, according to EY’s latest global oil and gas transaction review.
While the value of deals increased, volume fell by 27% year-on-year, it adds.
The value of upstream deals, i.e. exploration and production, fell 14% to $130 billion (£104bn) in 2016 compared to the previous year. However when excluding the Shell-BG Group “megadeal” in 2015, upstream transaction activity improved last year.
The report states the majority of transactions originated in the US.
The value of downstream deals, i.e. refining and distribution, increased by 30% last year to $65.9 billion (£53bn).
Activity was led by the US and Europe, representing 66% and 65% of total value respectively.
Andy Brogan, EY Global Oil & Gas Transactions Leader, said: “Transactions took a back seat to the more urgent task of adapting to new economic realities in the sector last year. A number of deals were initiated but not completed amid ongoing volatility.
“Now, with the consensus throughout the sector that the worst is behind us, we’re starting to see a shift as companies realise that there may be a cost to inaction. We expect to see the momentum that began in the fourth quarter of 2016 continue in the year ahead.”