Settle for a slowdown

Elevated exploration and production activity has driven up costs for operators. This was bound to lead to a slowdown in companies’ ability to continue to drill and profit at the accelerated pace of the past couple of years, which originally was spurred by rising worldwide demand for oil and gas amid limited excess production capacity.Earlier this month Devon Energy Corp. announced that it was reducing its 2007 capital budget projections from its 2006 E&P spending. In addition, the Oklahoma City oil and gas producer forecast that its production volumes next year and through 2009 will be lower than originally projected.The reasons behind the reduced projections include rising cost...

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