Oil price fall to drive sector consolidation

The crude oil price plunge, from $147 per barrel in July this year to around $60/bbl in late October, will drive a wave of consolidation among smaller exploration and production (E&P) companies, according to oil sector analysts.

The next 12 months could see a significant reduction in the number of E&P companies, says Andrew Moorfield, managing director and head of Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets' Oil and Gas Sector team. "There will be an emergence of fewer larger players as companies with proven an