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Collapse of crude prices heralds wave of oil industry consolidation

The oil industry is bracing itself for a wave of consolidation as cash-rich companies acquire more vulnerable rivals that are struggling after the collapse of the price of crude, analysts say.

Over the past ten days British-listed oil companies have been involved in a string of proposed deals worth a total of

The deals have raised expectations that more may be in the pipeline, following a flurry of deals in the pharmaceutical industry. Richard Savage, the head of energy research for Mirabaud, the Swiss private bank, said that several factors were involved, not merely the $100 fall in the price of oil last autumn, difficulty accessing debt markets for some companies and sharply lower share prices.

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