With Fiscal Cliff Avoided, Oil Companies Step Up Investment

Like much of the business world, the oil and gas sector was looking forward to New Year’s Day with a sense of dread. The Bush tax cuts were set to expire, and steep cuts in federal spending were due to kick in automatically.

“We anticipated somewhat of a lull in the industry at the beginning of 2013 from a transactional standpoint, but it’s actually been exactly the opposite.”

J. Wayne Bellew is an attorney with the Houston office of Looper Reed & McGraw. He says the deal in Congress that averted the so-called fiscal cliff is encouraging energy firms to push ahead with investments they’d had on hold.

“We just closed a transaction yesterday and are funding today in the Eagle Ford Shale, and we’re looking forward to more of that for the rest of the year. So I think now that there’s some certainty within the regime, I think it’s going to be as good or better of a year than we had in 2012.”

Bellew says he expects to see the industry consolidate further over the coming year, with more companies moving their operations to Houston.


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