Few equity-based exchange traded funds have enjoyed oil’s recent resurgence on par with the Market Vectors Oil Service ETF (NYSEArca: OIH).
Usually tightly correlated to fluctuations in oil prices, OIH has surged 18.2% over the past five days as crude prices have rapidly erased this year’s bear market to enter bull market territory. Some industry consolidation has also aided OIH’s ascent.
OIH started climbing last week after Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB) said it will acquire rival Cameron International (NYSE: CAM) for $12.7 billion. While there are still concerns that Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) will not be able to complete its acquisition of rival Baker Hughes (NYSE: BHI), last week’s deal-making in the oil services space predictably touched-off speculation that more oil services firms are ripe takeover candidates. [More M&A for Oil Services ETFs]
Predictably, Schlumberger’s move on Cameron is stoking speculation about more oil services consolidation.
“The subdued pricing environment, with crude hovering near the low $40s, will force the exit of marginal producers and lead towards industry consolidation with bigger, well established companies buying the weaker ones, just as we’ve seen in every oil cycle over the last three decades. Schlumberger’s purchase should give confidence to other oil service companies who’ve been patently waiting for acquisition opportunities,” according to Half Bridge Business Review.