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Confident oil industry set to ratchet up spending in 2019


After years of gloom, the oil industry’s out of its slump.

Three-quarters of senior oil and gas professionals surveyed say they are optimistic about the sector’s growth in 2019, their sunniest outlook since before the crude-price collapse in 2014. Confidence across the energy industry is now where it was in 2010, when Brent soared to $95 a barrel, about 50 percent above today’s level.

That good cheer will translate into higher spending, with 70 percent of professionals saying they’ll maintain or increase capital expenditure budgets this year. Many companies now say they’re competitive even as oil-price volatility heightens in reaction to geopolitical turmoil, after cutting costs to survive a collapse that lasted until 2017.

“Growth will be important and there is a strong belief in new investment,” said Liv Hovem, chief executive officer of DNV GL’s oil and gas unit. “They’re quite confident that there will be a demand for oil and gas going forward. They’re also confident about their competitiveness.”