2022 E&P Software Deals of the Year

December 20, 2022
Zack Warren

You know about the Grammys, Emmys, Tonys and more.

You may have heard of the Darwins, Webbys, or even the Bum Steers. But I guarantee you haven’t heard of the MIEPS, the Most Important E&P Software Deal of 2022!

This first annual award is determined with a highly rigorous selection process. The nominating, voting, ballot counting, and announcing are all done by one guy, so you can be sure of the scientific, audit-proof process we’ve gone through. No controversies here! So let’s get to it….

We have three categories!
  • The Most Important E&P Software Deal of 2022
  • Honorable Mention for E&P Software Deal That Software Vendors Cared Most About
  • Honorable Mention for E&P Software Deal That Made The Most Gosh-Darned Sense

For our nominees, Velocity Insight keeps track of all the acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, major product announcements, and fundraising rounds that we hear about. Here are the news items we covered in 2022 that we’d consider “nominees”. See something missing? Send us a note!

The MIEPS, Most Important E&P Software Deal of 2022

The honor. The prestige. The glory!

This year’s MIEPS really came down to two candidates: the S&P/IHS merger and IFS acquiring P2 Energy Solutions.

First the case for the S&P/IHS merger: in terms of gross revenue from E&P customers, this has got to be number one. Legacy IHS Markit tools range from data subscriptions like PI Dwights/Enerdeq to software packages like Petra, Kingdom, Harmony, and more. Legacy S&P’s data subscriptions are hugely popular among finance departments, with strong mind/market share for their M&A database, pricing data, and Cap IQ. Almost every E&P company we know has a business relationship with one or the other side of the merger. Consolidating subscriptions and upselling existing customers has begun in earnest, with ever-clearer competition between the new S&P and Enverus for dollars.

And the case for P2 getting bought by IFS: on first blush, this is the underdog. P2 is definitely a niche player historically, with aging but mission-critical tools like Bolo, Excalibur, Enterprise Upstream, Merrick, Tobin, and more. IFS has basically zero market share among E&P companies, which is what makes this deal so fascinating as IFS is a major player and Gartner segment leader for things like Enterprise Asset Management and ERP solutions. Given the legacy state of P2’s tools, we assume they are buying a customer base with the intent to persuade those customers to move to IFS Cloud.

This is a tough choice, but it ultimately comes down to this – we see the S&P/IHS merger as a continuation of a decade-long set of trends around consolidation of subscription services. However, the P2/IFS deal has the potential to dramatically shake up the E&P ERP space if IFS can convert P2 customers to IFS Cloud, putting pressure on incumbents like Quorum and SAP.

Congrats to the P2 Energy Solutions team, you win the MIEPS of 2022!

Honorable Mention for E&P Software Deal That Software Vendors Cared Most About

“Show me the money!” This is where all those E&P software vendors get dollar signs in their eyes. Who will be next to get bought for a boatload of cash? Who will raise money that might threaten my space? Since most companies in this space are privately-held, it can be very difficult to find out real dollar amounts and deal terms. So this award is almost entirely based on rumors – what could be more fun!

The award goes to…

ComboCurve Raising $50mm from Dragoneer and Bessemer!

This deal wins in equal parts due to the envy and fear it generated. Envy on the part of founders and equity holders, as rumors are that the founders were able to take some money off the table at a very nice valuation while keeping their jobs. And fear on the part of competitors, as that pile of cash gives Inside Petroleum an enviable position for raising their game with development, marketing, and business development dollars.

The Honorable Mention to this Honorable Mention has to be ThoughtTrace getting bought by Thomson Reuters. This is the goal for a startup software firm, right? To get bought by a bigger fish? No terms were disclosed, but the rumors we’ve heard were…..appealing.

Honorable Mention for E&P Software Deal That Made the Most Gosh-Darned Sense

Selling software in a niche industry like E&P ain’t easy. There are hundreds of competitors (trust us, we have a list) selling products that have established name brands and reputations in the industry. Those reputations act for good and bad, but it means that overcoming first-impressions is really tough for software management teams.

So this award goes to….

a string of transactions made by Pak Energy!

In many ways, this award represents four years of work – starting with the retirement of Charlie Wolff and sale to Charlesbank Capital in 2019, to acquisitions of WellTrax, ScoutFDC, and most recently LandVantage, culminating in this year’s rebranding from WolfePak to Pak Energy, this is a very different-looking offering to what it was in 2019. They have positioned themselves to be a multi-disciplinary alternative to Quorum, P2, Enertia, and the rest.  Now we shall see – can they turn that into market share?

Quorum’s acquisition of Merak from SLB comes in as the obvious second choice. PEEP has been languishing under SLB ownership, so folding it into Quorum’s large portfolio makes sense for all involved.

The music starts playing the announcers off the stage…

Thanks for sticking with us through this, hope you enjoyed it and learned a bit about either the E&P software space, or just how big of nerds we are at Velocity Insight. Happy New Year to you and yours!

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