Dealmakers predict M&A in the energy industry will accelerate over the next 12 months, according to Mergers & Acquisitions’ Mid-Market Pulse (MMP), a forward-looking sentiment indicator, published in partnership with CT. (Read the full report here and see related chart).

Depressed oil prices and market volatility have led many energy companies to struggle. Oil and gas explorer Energy XXI Ltd. (NYSE: EXXI) and coal giant Peabody Energy Corp. (NYSE: BTU) have filed for bankruptcy. And a slew of companies have indicated concerns regarding their ability to continue operations, including SandRidge Energy Inc. and Vaalco Energy (NYSE: EGY).

But dealmakers in our monthly survey say the worst may be over. One sign that bodes well for future energy M&A is the recent closing of Pelican Energy Partners’ second fund. The Houston, Texas-based private equity firm backs energy services and equipment companies.

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