After a sharp decline in investments, private equity (PE) firms are rebounding and ready to strike new deals in the North American oil & gas industry with a near $1 trillion cash pile. After peaking in 2014 at 104 deals worth $39 billion, PE activity began quickly declining in 2015, leaving 2016 with only 12 transactions worth $7.6 billion.
Despite limited activity, leveling oil prices has sparked some confident, yet cautious, high-dollar investments. In a survey of 100 PE firms conducted by the advisory firm, EY, nearly half are planning acquisitions by the first half of 2017 and 25% before the end of the year. While investments are not predicted to begin until late 2016 to mid-2017, activity is gradually picking up as the amount of distressed companies begins to increase and assets put on the chopping block.