US oil and gas firms are ready to spend as confidence grows: survey

The group, which acts as a technical advisor to the oil and gas sector, added that almost half of U.S. companies were preparing for “significant increases” in spending on projects over the coming months.

“There are brighter prospects for activity and investment across the value chain this year and beyond,” DNV GL’s Americas Regional Manager Frank Ketelaars said in a press release.

Ketelaars added that expensive “Deepwater projects” could thrive thanks to reduced cost measures, while newer sources such as shale oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) were also set to grow.

Possible barriers to growth of U.S. oil and gas were the lack of skilled workers at the industry’s disposal as the survey revealed that more than a third (37 percent) of U.S. executives expect to increase their company headcount in 2019.

That number was just 20 percent in the same survey last year.

Global confidence in the outlook for the oil and gas sector for 2019 sits at 76 percent, more than a doubling from the 32 percent recorded in 2017.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at around $76 a barrel last October but had slumped to around $42 by December. Meanwhile, in a similar slump, Brent crude has fallen almost 30 percent since climbing to a peak of $86.29 in early October last year.

The DNV GL’s report said that recent volatility hasn’t dented confidence around the world, suggesting that the sector was becoming more comfortable with fluctuating or lower energy prices.

Around seven of 10 executives from different regions said they expected to raise or maintain capital spend while staffing oil and gas positions around the world is also a growing concern with 37 percent of respondents expecting to grow their workforce.

DNV GL’s report is based on a global survey of 791 senior industry professionals. The research, conducted during late October and early November 2018, was carried out by teams from DNV GL, Longitude, and Kantar TNS.

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