U.S. growers see bright spots in 2022, fear funding crunch


U.S. oil and gas producers find themselves in a dilemma at the end of 2021: commodity prices are looking to increase production in 2022, but funding is becoming increasingly difficult to find.

According to a report released this week by the Federal Reserve in Dallas, Texas, 75% of the 134 oil and gas companies that responded to the Fed’s questionnaire said they intended to increase their capital budgets by 2022.

Only 16% said they would keep their budgets stable, while only 8% planned to cut their budgets.

Respondents to the survey, which includes the major producing regions of Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico, were optimistic about oil prices for the coming year, with 52% of respondents saying they expected West Texas Intermediate crude to average between $ 70 and $ 80. per barrel in 2022.

Another 22% said they expected prices to average between $ 80 and $ 85 a barrel.

The outlook was not all rosy for producers, with a number of interviewees telling the Dallas Fed they feared securing adequate funding for operations in a sector that has become increasingly unpopular among banks and other sources of credit.

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“Political pressure forcing available capital out of the energy sector is a problem for everyone. Banks view lending to the energy sector as “political risk“, “one respondent said.

While some respondents blamed Wall Street and a new emphasis on environmental and social governance among shareholders for some funding issues, others directly blamed the Biden administration’s adoption of the energy transition.

“It is impossible to make realistic estimates of capital expenditure budgets given the policies of the current administration and, for this reason, capital expenditure commitments are small and limited,” said one respondent.

“Why would a rational person feel comfortable with increasing capital commitments beyond minimum maintenance requirements at most when federal candidates are hoping for bankruptcy and the shutdown of the oil and gas sector?” ? “


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