Oil industry set to ratchet up spending this year

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

Three-quarters of senior oil and gas professionals surveyed by an energy and maritime services company say they are optimistic about the sector’s growth in 2019, The Houston Chronicle reports, 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% above today’s level.

That good cheer is expected to translate into higher spending, with 70% 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.

Digitization is also the top research and development priority for the oil business in 2019, as companies see additional cost savings and safety benefits in automating processes. Meanwhile investment in low-carbon energy will be small, with most respondents saying regulations are the main motivation to spend in the sector. Read the full story.

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