Houston-based Halliburton and Baker Hughes, the second and third largest oilfield services firms, decided on 30 April to terminate their proposed $30bn merger.

In a joint 1 May statement, Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar put the deal collapse down to “challenges in obtaining remaining regulatory approvals and general industry conditions that severely damaged deal economics led to the conclusion that termination is the best course of action.”

Another mitigating factor was the more...