Oil IPOs seen ready to bloom as crude prices rise

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Alex Nuss­baum

It may be time for a baby boom in U.S. oil. Ris­ing crude prices and a dereg­u­la­tory push in Wash­ing­ton may spur as many as 40 com­pa­nies to hold ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ings over the next two years, po­ten­tially tripling 2016’s ac­tiv­ity, ac­cord­ing to May­nard Holt, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer at Hous­ton-based investment bank Tu­dor Pick­er­ing Holt & Co.

Af­ter a year in which ex­plor­ers in the Per­mian shale basin strad­dling Texas and New Mex­ico dom­i­nated the busi­ness, in­ter­est in new oil-industry of­fer­ings is likely to spread wider. It could in­clude pipe­line op­er­a­tors and re­gions like the Bakken in North Dakota and Wy­oming’s Pow­der River basin, Holt said Wed­nes­day. Merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions should pick up as well.

“The num­ber of com­pa­nies ex­press­ing in­ter­est in go­ing into this win­dow is re­ally high, and the num­ber of in­vestors say­ing we’d like to see some­thing dif­fer­ent is re­ally high,” the CEO said.

Af­ter two years of crash­ing crude prices, the num­ber of North Amer­i­can IPOs for oil and nat­u­ral gas com­pa­nies fell to 13 this year, worth a col­lec­tive $2.23 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to data com­piled by Bloomberg. That was down from 44 an­nounced of­fer­ings, worth $14.15 bil­lion, in 2014, when oil topped $100 a bar­rel.

The en­vi­ron­ment has be­come more wel­com­ing af­ter the Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Petroleum Ex­port­ing Coun­tries agreed last month to cut out­put, paving the way for higher prices. Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump’s prom­ise to ease reg­u­la­tions is help­ing as well, Holt said.

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