2004 should be a very good year

Analysts expect oil and gas companies to increase land drilling worldwide and boost offshore drilling abroad in 2004. In addition, shallow water drilling will be stepped up in the Gulf of Mexico and in both shallow and deep waters outside the US.In a yearend 2003 survey of 224 companies conducted by analysts at Smith Barney, a division of Citigroup Global Markets Inc., 88% of respondents considered the economics of drilling to be more favorable than acquiring reserves, up from 81% in 2002.The Lehman Bros.'s original E&P spending survey of 335 companies, issued in December 2003, found that 84% of companies considered the economics of drilling in the US more favorable than purchasing re...

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