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If I had been asked to write this commentary in late July instead of early November, I would have forecast a stable world with a steadily growing global economy and higher demand for hydrocarbons making 2009 another record year for the upstream oil and gas industry. After all, the E&P sector built momentum in the first three quarters of 2008. With high commodity prices, more drilling rigs were working globally than at any time since 1985, and operators were pursuing unconventional gas, heavy oil and deepwater subsalt plays, while applying all available technology to maximize production from existing fields. All the indicators pointed to continued investment by operators and uninterrupted growth for service companies.
But a lot has happened in the last three months. The US credit crisis sent shock waves through the global financial system. Equity markets for publicly traded companies have fallen substantially, following an erratic roller coaster of gains and losses.
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