Oil and gas companies are seeking to rebalance business portfolios and preparing for a new era of operations, according to research by industry technical advisor DNV GL.

Around half (49%) of senior oil and gas executives either expect their businesses to diversify into or invest more in opportunities outside of oil and gas. Despite this, almost eight out of ten also see long-term opportunities for gas.

Entitled 'Short-term Agility, Long-term Resilience', the document is DNV GL’s seventh annual benchmark study on the outlook for the oil and gas industry.

Research involved a survey of 723 senior professions, indicating signs of deep, strategic changes for sustainable growth beyond cyclical patterns.

Around 26% of industry leaders expect their business to invest or bolster investments in renewable energy in 2017, while 59% see investments in renewables as a shift in long-term business strategy.

"Despite the drawn-out recovery, investments are still being planned across the value chain."

DNV GL – Oil & Gas CEO Elisabeth Tørstad said: “The number of companies we now see pursuing opportunities beyond oil and gas signals a step change in the reshaping of the sector and demonstrates its ability to adapt and build a more robust, diverse and sustainable energy future.”

This year, professionals expect investments to continue across the value chain, albeit at a lesser level than previous year as the percentage of respondents expecting to maintain or increase CAPEX has declined from 43% to 39%. Around 77% of professionals questioned believe gas will become an increasingly important component of the global energy mix in the next decade.

Tørstad added: “Despite the drawn-out recovery, investments are still being planned across the value chain. In 2017, we will see broadening of business portfolios and consolidations for growth as a way of reorganizing for the future.”

One third of respondents (33%) say their firms will increase M&A activity in the next 12 months, while 78% expect increased industry consolidation in 2017. For 85%, cost management has been set as high priority for 2017. Among the top three priorities for cost control this year include organisational restructuring (37%), reducing operating expenditure (35%), and improving efficiency from existing assets (29%).

Image: DNV GL Oil & Gas CEO Elisabeth Tørstad. Photo: courtesy of DNV GL.