indicatorThe Owl

Return to optimism

Fall energy sector survey

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 26 October 2023 1 min read

ATB Capital Markets has released the results of its latest survey of energy executives and institutional investors.

Key findings include:

Optimism is up - All major energy sector sentiment indices improved relative to the spring 2023 survey. Roughly 60% of energy services respondents expect activity levels to increase over the next six months, while 88% of exploration and production (E&P) respondents expect an improving outlook over the next six months and 83% of institutional investor respondents expect energy equities to outperform the broader market over the next 12 months.

Moderate growth is expected - By and large, the Canadian energy sector is preparing for a moderate growth year in 2024, with 88% of E&P respondents expecting production growth over the next 12 months, 58% of E&P respondents expecting increased exploration and development spending in 2024 relative to 2023 and 90% of energy services respondents expecting customer activity to be higher in 2024 (assuming WTI in the $85-$95 per barrel range).

More workers needed - The energy industry is hiring, with 46% of energy companies surveyed expecting their headcount to increase over the next six months, including 57% of energy services companies. Only 5% of energy companies expect to reduce their headcount over the period. Supporting this view, energy services companies ranked “access to services and labour” as the second most prominent risk facing the Canadian energy industry, and 70% of energy services companies surveyed expect wages to increase over the next six months.

Stronger oil and gas activity is one of the key factors supporting growth in our latest forecast for the Alberta economy, helping Alberta push through the headwinds generated by higher interest rates.

Answer to the previous trivia question: Public holidays in the U.K. are called “bank holidays” because banks are typically closed on them.

Today’s trivia question: Which country consumes the most crude oil?

Survey respondents were optimistic about future oil prices

Survey respondents were optimistic about future oil prices

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