Industry spending to rise but at lower rate in 2005

Capital spending in the oil and gas industry this year will be strong but will not grow as much as it did a year ago.With the robust oil prices of the past few years, investment in exploration and development might have been spurred more than it has been. But companies are using much of their cash flow to purchase shares of their stock, pay down debt, and increase stock dividends.In the downstream segment, refining expenditures continue to climb as new sulfur restrictions take hold. Spending for marketing will subside from 2004, while construction of crude and product pipelines in the US and Canada will be up.OGJ estimates that total US spending will be $85.7 billion vs. $80.7 billion las...

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