Taken as a whole, the first half of 2017 was a solid period for upstream M&A. Though deal flow fell relative to H2 2016, figures remained robust by historical standards. Valuations largely held firm. But the half-year figures mask two distinct periods. In Q1, deal activity was rampant, particularly in North America: Permania persisted; the Canadians consolidated as international players cashed out. The industry, flush with an OPEC-backed confidence, positioned for (low cost) growth. But animal spirits waned in Q2 – deal count dropped 13% quarter-on-quarter, while spend more than halved. In this Insight, we look at: Recent M&A trends from global, regional, corporate and thematic perspectives Valuations Near-term outlook.