Confidence in oil price recovery is still fragile, but almost half of respondents to the Energy Voice sector survey #Oil17: New World Order see investment in new technology as key to the future of the industry.
The third annual survey conducted in association with energy consultancy Calash, reveals an industry still in recovery since the global collapse in oil prices commenced over two years ago but one that is looking to slowly bring back investment.
According to the survey, operating budget recovery is expected but not yet conclusively in 2017. The majority expecting to see opex budget increases by 2018.
Similar views on the timing of capital investment budget recovery compared to opex, though opex budget recovery is expected to occur first.
A third of responders believe there are more cost cuts to come, yet just under a third in E&P believe the cuts have gone too far.
With continued headcount cuts and a lack of new graduates, there was some concern that workforce availability will begin to affect front end service.
Renewables and LNG markets are considered attractive areas of diversification – greater than nuclear, automotive or aviation
40% to 50% of all respondents felt it was likely or highly likely there was a need to address technological gaps in the oilfield.
The election of President Trump is the biggest political change affecting the industry, while Opec continues to be a key market influencer.
Rita Brown, editor of Energy Voice, said: “Our third annual industry-wide survey once again delivers a true temperature-taking of the global oil and gas industry. It also points to where the industry is heading in this new world of $50-$70 oil.
“What we are seeing is that cost cutting has delivered decisive change in the way the industry operates, and that while there is some optimism for investment in key projects there are fears that cost reduction might be biting in too much.
“What more respondents are realising is that new technology will finally come in to disrupt this industry which tends to be conservative in its approach to adopting and investing in new ideas.
“In the North Sea, cross industry initiatives like the new Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) will be increasingly important as they act as catalysts, helping to bridge the gap encouraging industry support in the adoption of new technology.
The survey took place between March and April 2017 reflecting views on the offshore oil and gas market following the market downturn. Law firm Burness Paull, Beaumont Chamber of Commerce and Singapore Airlines supported the research.
The were 382 respondents from a range of company types, geography and level of seniority. 52% of respondents were director/VP or senior management, and 33% middle management level.