Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) within the U.S. upstream fell to their lowest annual volume in nearly two decades last year, according to new research by Enverus Intelligence Research (EIR).

Exploration and production (E&P) firms recorded 160 transactions valued at $58 billion total, the Enverus subsidiary found. This is the lowest number of deals since 2005.

The combined deal value was down 13% year/year, and about 20% below pre-pandemic averages. Twenty-six of the transactions, with a combined value of $13 billion, occurred in the fourth quarter.

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