The ongoing shale-gas-induced transformation of U.S. energy production will continue to drive increasing levels of capital expenditures (capex) for the foreseeable future, said industry officials speaking at the Engineering and Construction Contracting Association's (ECCA) annual convention, held on Sept. 3-6 in Orlando. The ECCA comprises owners, contractors and engineers involved in the energy production sector.
But the growth in capex is definitely slowing, according to Jorge Leis, an oil-and-gas industry consultant who moderated a panel discussion, "Perspectives on the Market From the Energy and Process Industries." From 2007-2013, for instance, investment related to oil and gas exploration and development averaged an annual growth rate of 11%. However, for the period of 2013 through 2016, the group expects annual growth of about 2.7%. For 2014, Leis cited estimates showing overall U.S. oil-and-gas industry investment totaling $198 billion, or double that invested in 2007.