Middle East NOCs Keep Spending Despite Global Upstream Capex Squeeze

Global upstream spending is set for a cumulative 2014-17 fall of near 50%. But Mideast NOCs are benefiting from the downturn to lower drilling costs and renegotiate development contracts.

Upstream oil and gas capital spending (capex) fell by a whopping 25% last year, to just $583bn, from $777bn in 2014, according to the IEA’s inaugural World Energy Investment Report, released 14 September.

The IEA expects a further 24% slide in 2016 to an implied $443bn, a cumulative two-year fall of over $330bn or 43%. Given that a substantial rebound in upstream activity remains for now more talk than action, the IEA expects capex to fall further next year, making this the first ever “three consecutive years of investment decline.” Capex next year could well fall below $400bn, to just half 2014 peak levels (see charts). (CONTINUED - 1417 WORDS)

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table August Rig Count: Us Drilling Shows Further Signs Of Recovery