The global oil and gas industry expects mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to increase by 50% year-on-year.
A total of 83% of 50 companies questioned also believe there will be a “substantial increase” in M&As in the next three years as “companies restructure asset portfolios, seek new growth options and act opportunistically”.
Law firm Ashurst surveyed CEOs, CFOs and general counsels of the world’s largest oil and gas companies with a combined turnover of $5.3 trillion (£3.6tn).
It also revealed capital investment has been halted or cut by 87% of companies in their most recent strategic plans, with only 13% planning to increase spending.
Asia Pacific is the most attractive destination for new investment, with 31% of companies expecting to pursue their next investment, followed by Africa, Europe and the Americas, it added.
Philip Thomson, Ashurst’s EMEA & US Head of oil and gas said the industry’s decision to cut costs and capital spending in response to the fall in commodity prices was necessary.
He added: “The attitude of oil and gas companies can be summed up as defiant in the face of adversity during the last 18 months. As they shift from survival to growth, the key challenge for companies now is to operate sustainably in a low price environment.”