The integrated energy company of the 21st century will possess an increasingly diverse portfolio mix of conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resources including heavy oil, oil-sands, coal bed methane, coal-to and gas-to-liquids.

In contrast with conventional hydrocarbon deposits which are hard to find and limited in volume, unconventional reserves are relatively easy to locate and often plentiful. In addition, the word unconventional in this context is derived from the unusual production processes required to develop and produce commercial viable oil and gas. These processes are very diverse and will vary according to hydrocarbon type and geographical location.

Over the last two years, the industry has witnessed an increase of merger and acquisition activity in unconventional hydrocarbons. This paper will explore the rationale behind unconventional resource acquisitions and how the principles of intelligent energy can mitigate integration risks and enable integrated operations.

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