The Canadian oil and natural gas industry had a better year for financings in 2010, raising $19.9 billion in capital, according to a report released by Calgary-based Sayer Energy Advisors.

That was up seven per cent compared with the $18.6 billion raised in 2009, and the highest level of financings since 2007 when a record $25.6 billion was raised.

Sayer advises clients on mergers and acquisitions in the Canadian oil and gas industry.

The largest part of the increase — $12.6 billion — was from new share issues.


S&P/TSX energy index 1-year chart

That was a 111 per cent increase from the $6.0 billion raised in 2009 and 28 per cent above the previous record high of $9.9 billion raised in 2007.

"This is the largest amount of equity raised for this industry in the 20 years that Sayer has been recording these statistics," it said.

"One of the reasons for the increase in equity financings is the number of former royalty income trusts that converted to corporations."

The number of equity issues increased 27 per cent in 2010 from the year earlier to 652 issues, up from the 514 issues in 2009.

The largest equity issue in 2010 was the $1.4 billion initial public offering completed by Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. in April. Athabasca is focused on the development of oilsands resources in northern Alberta.