Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Support quality journalism
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24weeks
The Globe and Mail
Support quality journalism
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Globe and Mail website displayed on various devices
Just$1.99
per week
for the first 24weeks

var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){console.log("scroll");var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1);

A pumping unit sucks crude oil from the ground near Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Charlie Riedel/Charlie Riedel/AP

International oil and gas executives are often portrayed as a hubristic bunch, but when it comes to mergers and acquisitions, the big wheels are shying away from deals.

Only 31 per cent of energy executives expect to chase an acquisition in the next year, according to a survey conducted by Ernst & Young. This is down from 48 per cent in October, and the lowest point since 2009.

But it doesn't mean the top bosses are glum. The survey found 91 per cent believe they will maintain or increase their workforce, while 87 per cent believe the credit market is stable or improving. Further, 55 per cent believe the global economy is "strongly or modestly" improving, up from 22 per cent in Ernst &Young's October survey.

Story continues below advertisement

"The most common reasons [for reluctance to make acquisitions]included low confidence in the broader business environment and limited deal execution and integration capabilities," Ernst &Young's report, released Thursday, said.

While takeovers make energy executives nervous, asset sales could become popular. Twenty-seven per cent of respondents expect to sell assets -- looking at you, natural gas companies -- as they deal with uncertain commodity prices, low share prices, and "low confidence" in the broader business environment.

Further, 47 per cent of the survey's respondents expect divestment activity to increase in the next 12 months, up from 20 per cent this time last year.

"Conservatism, driven by persistent volatility, has driven divestments up the corporate agenda," the report said.

The report, dubbed the Global Capital Confidence Barometer, surveyed more than 1,500 executives -- including 141 from the energy sector -- from 57 countries in February and March. The consulting company said the global trends it found in the energy industry are reflected in the Canadian market.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies