Mergers & Acquisitions: Energy Sector on the Cusp of Recovery

Mergers & Acquisitions: Energy Sector on the Cusp of Recovery

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In the past decade, we have seen some major shifts in the energy industry. General Electric’s oil and gas operation merged with Baker Hughes in a $28 billion deal. Oil and natural gas prices have gone from $145 per barrel and $13 per mcf, down to $50 per barrel and $3 per mcf this year. This shift change has forced the industry to make significant adjustments and has led to some consolidation. More recently, EQT announced its purchase of Rice Energy for $8.2 billion.  What is next for mergers & acquisitions in the energy sector?

In this panel discussion with energy industry experts, we will tackle some of the industry’s biggest questions such as:

  • What is the current environment for the M&A market in the upstream and midstream energy sectors?
  • How has the downturn, and subsequent rebound, in oil prices impacted the M&A market?
  • What impact are capital markets and private equity having on mergers and acquisitions in the energy sector?
  • What are companies’ appetites; i.e., what do you think the M&A market will look like over the next 1-2 years?


  • Christopher Watson, Managing Director, Mergers & Acquisition Group in Investment Banking, Barclays
  • Jeffrey Agosta, CFO, Tug Hill

The panel will be introduced by Professor Dipankar Ghosh, David Ross Boyd and David C. Steed Professor of Accounting at the University of Oklahoma, and Executive Director of the Energy Institute.

Professor Dipankar Ghosh is the Founding Executive Director of the Energy Institute and was instrumental in the design and delivery of the Energy Executive Management Program, a 5-day program providing an overview of the business side of an energy enterprise. He is also the principal architect of the 15-month Executive MBA in Energy hybrid program which commenced in January 2014. The EMBA in Energy program is currently ranked 21st among global EMBA programs.

Christopher L. Watson is a Managing Director in Barclay’s Mergers & Acquisition Group in Investment Banking, focusing on Global Natural Resources. Mr. Watson joined Lehman Brothers in 1997 and joined Barclays in 2008. During his 20 years with Lehman Brothers and Barclays, Mr. Watson has advised on a wide variety of strategic assignments for a broad range of energy clients including major integrated and independent oil and gas companies, oilfield service companies and financial sponsors. He has executed over $450 billion in advisory assignments including four of the largest transactions in the energy industry over the last 10 years.

Jeffrey Agosta is currently the CFO of Tug Hill, a privately-held investment company currently focused on acquiring, developing and producing oil and natural gas in the onshore United States with a primary focus on the Marcellus and Utica Shales in the Appalachian Basin. Tug Hill also manages a large oil and gas mineral position, principally focused in the Appalachian and Permian Basins and is in the process of building-out a midstream business to support its Appalachian Basin upstream business. Jeff was previously CFO at Ascent Resources LLC, a start-up natural gas exploration and production company with assets in Ohio and West Virginia (2014-July 2015). From 2010 – 2014, Jeff served as the CFO and EVP of Devon Energy Corporation, one of the largest US-based oil and natural gas producers. Jeff joined Devon in 1997 and was involved in $35B worth of acquisitions and $23B worth of divestitures. When he started at Devon in 1997, the company had an enterprise value of $800M; and when he left in 2014, the company’s value was $35B.

The program addresses all aspects of the business of energy, develops leadership skills and provides a global energy perspective. Faculty from academia and the energy industry are carefully selected for the program and all courses are designed within the context of energy. To accommodate the schedules of the working professional in the energy industry, the EMBA program consists primarily of online courses combined with intensive residency weeks. The residencies are one week in length and take place at the beginning and end of the program in Norman, OK. In addition, there is a third residency in the middle of the program that offers an international experience to foster the global nature of the program. For more information, visit the program website here.

University of Oklahoma Price College of Business
About the Author
University of Oklahoma Price College of Business

The University of Oklahoma Price College of Business Executive MBA in Energy Program (EMBA) is a 15-month program created in partnership with energy company executives interested in developing the energy leaders of tomorrow. Designed for mid-career professionals in the energy industry, the EMBA in Energy is among the top leadership and learning programs for ambitious, forward-thinking energy executives worldwide.

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