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| 16 May, 2018

Big oil production growing ‘despite capex cuts’

Credit metrics for the companies are recovering to rating commensurate levels, but aggregate debt remains well above 2013 levels

Oil industry well pump under blue desert sky, nodding donkey rig pumping crude oil up from the ground of an oil field in the desert.

Oil industry well pump under blue desert sky, nodding donkey rig pumping crude oil up from the ground of an oil field in the desert.

Getty Images/Mlenny
Despite cutting capital expenditure aggressively since 2014, concerns that the big oil companies would suffer from underinvesting have proved unfounded, said S&P Global Ratings in a new report.

At some companies, proved reports took a hit as the fall in prices affected the economics of some projects, said the new RatingsDirect, highlighting that projected and actual production at the major oil companies has risen.

Credit metrics for the companies are recovering to rating commensurate levels, but aggregate debt remains well above 2013 levels.

Since mid-2014, the harsh cyclical downturn in oil prices has tested, and proved, the resilience of international oil majors' integrated business models, the report said.

S&P Global Ratings recognizes the majors' downstream refining and petrochemical assets provided them with a cushion as cash flows from the upstream businesses, especially straight exploration and production businesses, plunged.

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Those downstream businesses have since taken a backseat as higher oil prices, lower costs, and capex help upstream performance recover, according to S&P Global Ratings. – TradeArabia News Service

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