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A pair of pumpjacks pump oil from an old well in a Pembina oil field near Pigeon Lake, Alta., on Feb. 17, 2012.Norm Betts/Bloomberg

In a surprising rush to issue energy-company shares this year, some dealers are run off their feet. Others are missing in action.

After a tough 2015, when the energy market sank into the doldrums, it can't be fun to be in that second group now.

TransCanada's new equity offering is likely to set a Canadian record at $4.4-billion. To see all of the country's major banks heading up the syndicate is not a shock. They have the financial wherewithal to backstop the massive bought deal, proceeds from which TransCanada will use to help fund its $10.2-billion (U.S.) takeover of Columbia Pipeline Group.

A much-oversubscribed $2.3-billion (Canadian) offering by Enbridge several days earlier gave banks comfort that investors would clamour for the shares, which offer a large measure of security and growing dividends in a volatile market. Another energy infrastructure company, Pembina Pipeline, closed a $345-million offering on Tuesday.

Looking at the lists of underwriters for these deals, and a host of others among exploration and production companies, what's clear is the hometown connection is worth a whole lot.

The long-term future of Canada's independent dealers has come into question, but Calgary's Peters & Co. and FirstEnergy Capital have been in nearly every energy-related syndicate in the first quarter of 2016. Over decades, these shops have managed to weave themselves deep into the energy scene that is often synonymous with the city itself, and that has paid off just when it was needed.

Peters and FirstEnergy demonstrate the importance of relationships, especially among small and mid-size oil firms run by managers with reputations in the capital markets as money makers. Witness Advantage Energy and Whitecap Resources, which are among those that raised sizable proceeds this winter and are key clients.

Other independent dealers have shown up on the energy underwriter lists much less frequently, having fallen victim to some rough years on Bay Street that saw a number of firms contract or close down.

Canaccord Genuity, which has had a number of key energy-related departures as it cut jobs in Canada and in Britain, had small percentages in just a handful of deals.

GMP Capital has also restructured and laid off staff, though the dealer pocketed fees from at least half a dozen financings, including those by Pembina, Tamarack Valley Energy and Spartan Energy.

Among the big players with lending arms, Royal Bank of Canada was lead on some of the richest offerings – Enbridge, TransCanada and Seven Generations Energy. National Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Bank of Montreal all jockeyed for positions in several energy-related syndicates as well.

Exploration and production, energy services and pipeline companies have raised more than $8.1-billion in equity offerings since the start of the year.

Think about that for a moment: Most of the money was raised after U.S. benchmark crude dipped to a nearly 13-year low of just more than $26 (U.S.) a barrel and stock prices – especially energy shares – tumbled alongside. Since last month, crude has rebounded to $40 – better, but still a price at which only the best operating, or best hedged, companies operate at a profit.

El Nino snuffed out any hope of a normal, cold-winter gain in natural gas prices. They remain stuck below the prices of last summer.

Yet investors want shares, even those of producers, perhaps betting that this is the start of a long-awaited recovery, and dealers are only too happy to offer them.

More than a few investment bankers had expected the first quarter of 2016 to be dismal as energy companies battened down the hatches and waited for conditions to improve.

It turned out to be much better than that, at least for the big dealers and the home-towners.