From Mark Jaffe of the Denver Post
The lure of oil beneath the Western Plains — from North Dakota to Colorado — has led to a record $14.7 billion in mergers and acquisitions since the start of last year, according to an analysis by accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
“Since 2006, deals have been trending up until they reach a new peak,” said Rowena Cipriano-Reyes, a Denver-based partner with PwC’s energy practice. The study included 2011 and the first half of 2012.
The targets for this deal-making have been two potentially oil-rich geological formations — the Bakken in North Dakota and the Niobrara in Colorado and Wyoming.
Companies initially were looking to acquire acreage in the oil fields but now are also buying infrastructure, such as pipelines and processing plants, according to the PwC analysis.
In Colorado, the center of activity is Weld County. “You can see the impact just driving around,” said Eric Berglund, president of Upstate Colorado Economic Development. MORE …
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