By Houston Business Journal

Spurred by foreign investment in shale plays and related upstream assets, U.S. oil and gas mergers during the third quarter of 2011 shot up 135 percent, according to a report released Wednesday by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Forty-six deals in the third quarter accounted for $48.8 billion, more than double the $20.8 billion during the same period of 2010. Average deal size of the 2011 period grew to $131 million from $117 million during Q3 2010.

A total of 15 transactions valued at more than $40 million each generated 89 percent â¿¿ $43.4 billion â¿¿ of the Q3 deal value.

⿿Despite a number of headwinds in the third quarter with volatile global equity markets and commodity prices, deals in the energy sector continued as companies sought to take advantage of opportunities in shale to gain technology know-how and diversify service offerings,⿝ said Rick Roberge, principal at PwC⿿s energy M&A practice in Houston.

PwC reported 13 shale deals that totaled more than $50 million in the quarter for a total of $22.6 billion, which was 46 percent of the total deal value.

Foreign buyers announced 22 deals in the third quarter of 2011, which combined to make $37.3 billion, or 76 percent of the total deal value. For the same period of 2010, activity was the same, but deal value grew by 185 percent.

For more on this story, click here.

Copyright 2011 American City Business Journals
Copyright 2010