Daily News: March 25, 2014

Capital One: Energy Independence Top Industry Trend in 2014

Fifty-six percent of energy professionals surveyed by Capital One identified U.S. energy independence as the industry trend likely to gain the most momentum this year. Capital One surveyed a broad range of industry professionals on key energy-related issues at the North American Prospect Expo (NAPE) in February 2014. Other trends expected to gain traction in 2014 include opposition to shale development (24%) and growth in alternative energy (11%).

The survey revealed a positive outlook on oil and gas prices; two-thirds of respondents expect gas prices to remain steady or increase this year, and 71% anticipate similar stability for oil prices. Increased regulation was cited as the year’s biggest industry concern by 40% of those surveyed, followed by pressure on commodity prices (23%), and access to capital (16%).

“This upbeat view of oil and gas prices goes hand in hand with the progress toward U.S. energy independence,” said Russ Johnson, head of Energy Investment Banking, Capital One Securities. “However, our survey data also revealed concerns over regulatory pressures and resistance to shale development, as well as access to capital. Our team of banking professionals is committed to providing our clients with tailored financing solutions to help them successfully navigate industry challenges and continue on a path towards growth.”

The pace of merger and acquisition activity is expected to pick up this year as well. Fifty-eight percent of the Capital One survey respondents expect M&A to increase in 2014, while 38% expect the level of M&A activity to stay the same as the prior year.

“The energy industry seems likely to see stepped-up M&A activity in 2014,” added Scott Joyce, managing director of Energy Origination, Capital One Bank and Capital One Securities. “As that activity continues in the year ahead, Capital One will continue to provide the support companies need to take advantage of opportunities that will strengthen their goals for growth and expansion.”