North American E&P firms' finding costs reach 3-year high

North American oil and gas companies' finding costs reached a 3-year high last year, and costs are likely to rise again this year, Merrill Lynch & Co. stated in a recent report."Finding costs could rise in 2001. In our view, that occurrence won't matter in a period of higher operating margins, but the market still remains unconvinced that higher prices are here to stay," the report said. "In our view, the business has normalized back to more full-cycle economics."Merrill Lynch analyzed finding cost results for 59 companies-37 US firms and 22 based in Canada-during the last 15 years."Total worldwide costs incurred increased to $37.5 billion in 2000 from $25.7 billion in 1999," for ...

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