More oil M&A deals to come? One pro’s picks

The purchase of MarkWest Energy by Marathon Petroleum makes sense and could be the one of many deals to come in the oil sector, analyst Neal Dingmann said Monday.

Earlier in the day, Marathon Petroleum said its limited partnership MPLX will merge with MarkWest in a deal worth $15.6 billion.

Dingmann said mergers such as this in the midstream space, which includes oil transportation and storage companies, as well as in upstream, which includes exploration and production, will help companies compete with larger firms in a low-oil environment.

"When you have now prices hanging around in the $50 region and potentially going lower, it's even more critical to start cutting these costs out than it maybe was at one time. So the best way to do that, among other things, is to … combine them and have the economies of scale," the energy analyst with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey said in an interview with CNBC's "Closing Bell."

As for who could be next, Dingmann suggested other names about the same size as MarkWest, such as Energy Transfer Partners and Williams. Buckeye Partners, Targa Resources Partners and Magellan Midstream Partners are also in play for possible mergers, he said.

He also thinks some exploration and production companies may be forced to consolidate because of their debt.

In the meantime, while Dingmann doesn't see a slowdown in U.S. shale production in the near term, he believes there will be a rally in oil prices by late this year.

"Everybody forgets about the conventional production out there, and I actually think that's coming off quicker than people think," he said.

CNBC's Linda Sittenfeld and Fred Imbert contributed to this report.

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