Spending On US Oil And Gas Reserves Tops $185 Billion

Spending by U.S. oil and gas producers to find and develop new supplies rose 20% last year compared to 2011. That's according to a study released by the Houston office of Ernst & Young.

The fifty largest oil and gas companies operating in the U.S. spent close to $186 billion in 2012 on exploration and production. That’s the biggest capital expenditure since Ernst & Young began tracking U.S. oil and gas reserves five years ago.

The study attributes the jump to increased spending on finding and developing tight oil formations and natural gas liquids.

Marcela Donadio is Americas Oil and Gas leader for Ernst & Young.

“The fact that capital expenditures are very, very high are reflective on increased jobs in the Houston area. The influx of people that are coming in, in some ways it reminds me a little bit about all of the energy activity in the late ’70s and early ’80s.”

The spending came despite a nearly 60% drop in energy producers’ after-tax profits, driven largely by low natural gas prices.


Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas delegations in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the Texas governorship, the state legislature, and county and city governments. Before taking up his current post, Andrew...

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