Wood Mackenzie gauges the state of the industry, with a recent survey out this week. With Oil prices remaining volatile, companies are considering their next investments, while weighing up how to remain profitable in the current climate.
What are the expectations around the oil price?
There is a clear consensus that oil prices will be in the US$50-60/bbl range this year (80% of respondents), while 75% think it will be in the US$60-80/bbl range in 2020, which, if correct, will generate significant free cashflow for the industry
Will investment in M&A and capital spend rise?
Expect investment in M&A, exploration and capital spending to rise this year. However, only 25% of our survey’s respondents believe that frontier exploration or corporate M&A will deliver the best returns this year. Uncertainty remains about service costs, with respondents split almost equally over whether they will rise or not in 2017.
What is the industry's priority for 2017?
The upstream sector’s key priorities for 2017 include protecting the dividend and strengthening balance sheets. Climate change is a key issue, with 75% of the more than 170 respondents saying that the best way for the industry to respond to the challenge it represents is to either reduce carbon footprints or increase exposure to renewables.
The responses were analysed to give a comprehensive view of how the sector’s key players view the future. Martin Kelly, Wood Mackenzie’s Head of Corporate Analysis, said: “The industry is very cautious right now and risk appetite is low". Glass half full?
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Headline crude prices for the week beginning 16 September 2019 – Brent: US$69/b; WTI: US$63/b
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