Lehman Bros. survey sees E&P outlays up 5.7% in 2005

Oil and gas companies in a Lehman Bros. survey plan to increase worldwide exploration and production spending next year by 5.7% after raising outlays in those areas this year by an estimated 12.4%.The totals for 327 companies, including Lehman Bros. estimates for companies without final budget figures, are $176.8 billion in 2005 vs. $167.3 billion this year.E&P spending percentage gains next year will be larger in the US and Canada than elsewhere.A US increase of 7.8% to $41 billion will come mainly from a surge of activity by companies spending less than $100 million each. Expenditures in that category will be up 24% next year, according to the survey of 249 companies with US operations....

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