This paper analyses the contribution which reserve acquisition has made to the ability of a representative group of Oil Companies to replace their total reserve base over the 5 year period 1986-1990. It comments on the relative costs of replacing reserves through Acquisition compared to Exploration. The inadequacies of cost/bbl as the sole measure of Acquisition effectiveness are recognised and a value related measure is proposed which could be of general applicability to acquisition assessment. This approach is applied to 20 Acquisition examples which have taken place, mainly in the UKCS, over a similar time period, identifyinq the ability of the acquirer to realize value. The results indicate, as might be expected, that the individual acquisitions vary significantly in the value to the acquirer both at acquisition and subsequently. Several factors which influence the ability of the acquirer to realize value are investigated. It is argued, that the ‘premium’ ascribed to acquisitions in the UKCS is declining over time.

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