Oil companies expect to spend billions more next year on drilling wells and pumping oil across the United States, a financial boost for firms that sell tools and equipment, farm out crews for rigs and fracking fleets and employ thousands across Texas.
A survey released Wednesday of more than 300 oil companies indicates the industry plans to boost U.S. oil field spending — the lifeblood of local oil field services companies — by 15 percent in 2018 to more than $100 billion.
If oil prices stay high enough to support those investments next year, it would mark the second year in a row in which U.S. drillers led a global spending hike as crude prices recover from the market’s collapse in 2014. Companies lifted U.S. spending 49 percent in 2017, according to the survey by New York investment bank Evercore ISI.
“The pace of overall North American spending through the recovery will moderate in 2018 as companies look to live within cash flow,” James West, an analyst at Evercore, said during a conference call with investors. “But 2018 could be the first in several years that commodity prices surprise to the upside.”
All told, companies that produce oil and gas will spend $385.5 billion around the world, up $24.8 billion, or 7 percent, over 2017. More than half of that increase — $13.3 billion — will be spent in the U.S. Still, global spending will come in about 50 percent below the industry’s 2014 peak.