U.S. upstream capex climbs again in Q3 2018

| By Mark Young

For the second consecutive quarter, capital spending in the U.S. upstream sector climbed in Q3 2018. This is according to early Q3 analysis based on a selection of 64 U.S.-based E&P companies within the Evaluate Energy database.

The 64 companies recorded a combined capital spend of $34.1 billion in the third quarter, which is a 4% increase over spending by the same group in Q2 2018. $34.1 billion is the largest capital spend by the group since Q3 2015.

Source: Evaluate Energy

Despite the climb in capital spending, an increase in share repurchases meant that capex did not make up as big a portion of overall cash usage in Q3 as it did in Q2 (62% vs. 66%). Cash used for share repurchases only made up 4% of overall cash usage for the 64 companies during Q2, but grew to 11% of cash usage in Q3.

Net debt repayment, which totalled $5.8 billion, fell to just 11% of total cash usage, its lowest share of the group’s cash usage since Q1 2017.

Source: Evaluate Energy

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