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Actionable news in CIE: COBALT INTERNATIONAL ENERGY Inc,

Big Oil to Start Spending Again After Two-Year Slump

LONDON—The prospect of rising oil prices has the global energy industry considering a strategy that has been unthinkable for much of a two-year-long market slump: Making new investments.

Big oil companies are moving ahead with new spending again, says BP BP 1.37 % PLC Chief Executive Bob Dudley on the sidelines of the Oil and Money conference here. The British oil company he heads has taken final investment decisions on a handful of projects this year and is expected to approve more in 2017, he said.

“Investments are back,” Mr. Dudley said. “But it’s only going to be the very best.”

Mr. Dudley’s comments highlight a pervasive sentiment among oil-industry executives and government officials that there is light at the end of the tunnel, as they grope through one of the industry’s darkest moments.

For the past two years, the industry has been roiled by oil prices that collapsed to less than $50 a barrel from 2014 highs of $114 a barrel, and never recovering to those previous highs. Now, with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries promising a modest output cut and prices generally on the rise, executives and industry leaders say they have a sense of...


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