Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Oil & Gas Executives Bullish On Future

Survey says: energy executives see U.S. oil & gas outlook bright and getting brighter but worry about new EPA regulation.

John England, Deloitte’s Vice Chairman Oil & Gas Sector, at the company’s conference in Houston

Dave Fehling/StateImpact Texas

John England, Deloitte’s Vice Chairman Oil & Gas Sector, at the company’s conference in Houston

It’s been a big week already for Houston’s oil & gas industry with the proposed takeover by Halliburton of Baker Hughes. Economists say it’s one sign the industry is optimistic about the future.

Some other signs are what you’ll find in a new survey by the consulting firm Deloitte, which took the pulse of energy executives earlier this fall. The share — who felt the U.S. has already achieved energy security because it’s producing so much oil & gas — shot up to 40 percent of them from just 12 percent two years ago.

Eighty percent of them said the U.S. energy business is doing better now than it was five years ago.

Not that there weren’t any worriers. Over half the executives said they were concerned that oil prices might collapse — and this was what they said back in September, before prices dropped some 15 percent in recent weeks.

But Deloitte’s John England says for now, companies are continuing to expand. “I think even in the face of some lower prices more recently people believe overall this is a long term play and that this has really changed the face of the U.S. energy economy,” England told News 88.7.

The survey found oil & gas executives also had concerns about pending federal regulations to cut pollution leaking from drilling operations and pipelines.

“People are concerned about the cost of regulation. And they are concerned about the uncertainty about it,” said England.

Deloitte released the survey at its annual oil & gas conference being held in Houston.

It questioned 252 U.S. oil & gas professionals. Their average income was $163,000 a year. Seventy-five percent were men. Fifty-two percent of the total group were Republicans, 10 percent were Democrats.


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