The amount of capital invested in oil and gas fields next year will again set a new record, with estimates of $723 billion being spent to secure hydrocarbons for worldwide consumption, as reported by the Motley Fool.

A  Barclays report said the four large integrated oil companies — ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, and Shell — will make up about 20% of the spending.

Nearly two-thirds of oil and gas companies are planning to increase their capital spending in 2014, a quarter of them by 10% or more, according to a global industry survey by UHY LLP Certified Public Accountants and PennWell Publishing’s Oil & Gas Financial Journal.

Chevron said last week it plans to spend $39.8 billion in 2014 on exploration and capital investment, 5.5 percent less than the $4.2 billion it spent in 2014.

The Motley Fool, a respected value-investing site, said, “Increased spending on costly exploration projects are risky for oil and gas producers, but provide clear benefits to service companies. Two players to watch are offshore drillers Atwood Oceanics (NYSE: ATW ) and Seadrill (NYSE: SDRL ) . Both of these offshore drillers have new and safe drilling fleets, commanding higher dayrates for their high-specification rigs.”


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