The major oil companies are on a buying binge, suggesting that it may be quicker, easier, and more economical to grow reserves with a checkbook than a drill bit.
The latest integrated buyer to purchase new properties is Italy's Eni
According to the Italian company, which has been buying hot and heavy during the past 18 months, the primary property in the acquisition is expected to begin producing in 2011; it should reach 30,000 boe a day the following year. Eni is apparently paying a nearly 60% premium to the 30-day average for the Canadian company.
Eni's acquisition coincides with ConocoPhillips'
Those two newly announced deals follow another pair of recent pacts between BP
I'm particularly following BP, which has struggled with a string of stumbles in the past few years. With its new acquisitions and its surprising settlement last week of the sticky situation surrounding its TNK-BP Russian venture, BP's luck may finally be changing.
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Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He does, however, welcome your questions or comments. Chesapeake Energy is an Inside Value recommendation. The Fool has a thrifty disclosure policy.