NEW YORK (AP) — Interest in U.S. energy companies spiked in 2011 as buyers clamored for more access to oil-rich layers of North American shale, a consulting and accounting firm says.
PwC US, a division of PricewaterhouseCoopers International, said Wednesday that the value of U.S. oil and gas mergers and acquisitions jumped 35 percent last year to $186.5 billion.
America's oil and gas sector has been a red-hot area for growth in the energy industry thanks to new drilling techniques that allow companies to tap vast amounts of oil and natural gas trapped in underground layers of shale. Environmental concerns have yet to dampen industry interest in new drilling projects.
Steve Haffner, a Pittsburgh-based partner with PwC's energy practice said, "The industry continued to make a paradigm shift to shale in 2011."