This coming year could be a surprisingly exciting time for oil and gas developers.
Yes, energy prices are depressed right now. But not everyone sees that as a negative. In fact, private equity funds are still raising record amounts of capital for energy investments — with managers and investors alike seeing the current downturn as a prime time to pick up good assets for cheap.
Most of that PE money is earmarked for U.S. shale. But this week’s announcements from Indonesia state oil firm Pertamina, and Japanese government arm Jogmec, show that the spending spree may now be extending to global oil and gas assets.
Pertamina had $700 million this year for acquisitions — and will likely have billions for the coming year. Jogmec is even more flush with cash — having arranged financial backing totaling $5.2 billion yearly for oil and gas M&A.
That’s a lot of cash now hunting for projects. So the question is — where in the world might these big players be looking?
Obviously, both firms are headquartered in Asia. Suggesting that this region would be a logical place to look for buyouts. But recent events show the focus here is likely to extend well beyond just Asian projects. Pertamina, for example, was decidedly Africa-minded this past year. Buying into projects in Gabon and Mozambique.
Jogmec also favored Africa — providing financial support for Japanese firms working in onshore Kenya. And stepping out even further by getting into frontier exploration in Greenland.
In fact, as the map below shows, Jogmec has a worldwide scope for oil and gas projects. Covering six continents where the company has supported projects through equity capital participation or financial guarantees.
That suggests Jogmec’s billions could theoretically be deployed almost anywhere in the world. Although a closer look at the company’s recent activities provides some deeper clues on where exactly it might be considering.
A little-known fact about Jogmec is that it also provides government-to-government support for petroleum activity. Including helping foreign governments conduct geophysical surveys over prospective areas in the onshore and offshore....MORE