Analysts: 2004 capital spending strong outside the US, Canada

A handful of analysts' forecasts indicates that there will be a moderate uptick in worldwide exploration and production capital expenditures this year. The forecasts peg worldwide upstream capital spending to increase 4-12% over last year's spending, with the majority of the projected growth outside the US and Canada.Lehman Bros.' most recent semiannual E&P spending survey looked at the capital budgets of 335 companies based in North America and elsewhere. This survey found that there would be a 6% gain in expenditures outside the US, led by government-owned Latin American operators and European firms.The survey also led Lehman to expect US E&P spending to be flat, with a decl...

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