Seismic reflections: Sentiment vs reality

Published on 5 October 2012

Attending the recent World Independent Oil Companies Congress in London gave us the opportunity to assess both industry sentiment and investor reality up close and personal in one room, with some fascinating results. While smaller companies rightly continue to view exploration as the bedrock on which to deliver material capital growth, this was coming up against stories of difficult debt markets and capital flights to lower-risk large caps. While this should naturally play into the hands of M&A, the reality seems to be one of unrealistic bid/ask spreads. Fortunately, time does seem to be the one ally to doing a deal, but at what cost remains tantalisingly difficult to value.

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