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Companies are deciding to invest again, but can the other projects compete with US tight oil?

Despite an increase in new projects sanctioned this year, shale still poses a threat

During the comparative boom years between 2007 and 2013, oil and gas firms made about 40 final investment decisions on big projects every year. Then came the price crash. In 2015, the number of FIDs was just 10. Now things seem to be picking up. Wood MacKenzie, a consultancy, expects companies to pull the trigger on 20-25 projects this year—evidence that they're starting to think about growth again. "There are some positive signs in what is a challenging outlook for new project investment," says analyst Norman Valentine. Why? Wood Mac sees a few reasons. "Costs have been coming down, there has been supply-chain deflation, meaning companies pay lower rates for drilling, equipment and insta

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