The world’s biggest oil companies this year have cut back investment far less than had been expected even though oil prices have fallen by more than half because of the global recession, a new study shows.
Ernst and Young says that the main state-controlled national oil companies (NOCs) had kept investment largely steady compared with last year. Meanwhile, improving terms for equipment and services could mean big international oil companies, which cut investments, get more for their 2009 budgets even though they are smaller than 2008.
In total in 2009 the largest NOCs plan to invest more than $275bn, while big international oil companies have cut their expenditures to $100bn, from the $122bn they invested last year. The national oil companies’ investments were boosted by the $28bn from Brazil this year, to develop its huge offshore reserves, and the the $42bn that China’s CNPC will spend as it continues to rapidly build up its capacity and access to future reserves.