U.S. upstream capex climbs again in Q3 2018

For the second consecutive quarter, capital spending in the U.S. upstream sector climbed in Q3 2018. This is according to early Q3 analysis based on a selection of 64 U.S.-based E&P companies within the Evaluate Energy database.

The 64 companies recorded a combined capital spend of $34.1 billion in the third quarter, which is a 4% increase over spending by the same group in Q2 2018. $34.1 billion is the largest capital spend by the group since Q3 2015.

Source: Evaluate Energy

Despite the climb in capital spending, an increase in share repurchases meant that capex did not make up as big a portion of overall cash usage in Q3 as it did in Q2 (62% vs. 66%). Cash used for share repurchases only made up 4% of overall cash usage for the 64 companies during Q2, but grew to 11% of cash usage in Q3.

Net debt repayment, which totalled $5.8 billion, fell to just 11% of total cash usage, its lowest share of the group’s cash usage since Q1 2017.

Source: Evaluate Energy

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