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Oil companies dig deep

With an eye on shareholders' returns, oil companies are reining in costs and increasing internally generated cash flows

While investment activity in the upstream oil and gas sector has improved this year, financing conditions have tightened slightly. Investors in the widely-watched US oil patch have become somewhat wary of financing production volume at the expense of shareholder value. Burnt during the oil-price crash that took prices from over $100 a barrel in mid-2014 to less than $30/b in early 2016, equity investors have shown only moderate enthusiasm for financing new production—even in a climate of oil-price recovery, ending the year around $60/b. Finance offerings in the US oil and gas sector, after a strong H1 2017, have slowed to a crawl. Total bond and equity offerings, including midstream and dow

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