(Reuters) – European oil companies’ spending budgets are likely to be lower in 2018 and 2019, and that, along with improving project delivery, will drive the strongest volume and cash flow growth in over 20 years, Goldman Sachs analysts said.
The brokerage said meetings with senior management of over 20 European energy companies confirmed that the firms were entering an “age of restraint” phase, characterized by disciplined investing, further consolidation and structural cost reductions.
The analysts, led by Michele Della Vigna, said in March the phase was “the start of a new Golden Age” for the sector’s “Seven Sisters”
The “Seven Sisters” are BP <BP.L>, Chevron <CVX.N>, Total <TOTF.PA>, ENI SpA <ENI.MI>, Shell <RDSa.L>, Statoil <STL.OL> and Exxon Mobil <XOM.N>.
The brokerage reiterated its attractive view on the European integrated oil sector and named France’s Total, Britain’s BP, Italy’s ENI and Royal Dutch Shell its top picks.
“Over the coming years, we expect delivery rates to continue improving, as projects sanctioned in today’s environment are smaller, simpler and in some cases phased developments, limiting scope for delays,” Della Vigna said.
Brent crude futures <LCOc1> were up one percent at $76.04 a barrel at 1251 GMT on Tuesday.
Oil prices extended losses on Monday as Saudi Arabia and Russia said they may increase supplies while U.S. production gains showed no sign of slowing.
(Reporting by Derek Francis and Tenzin Pema in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)