2017 oil and gas industry executive survey

Trends show a pause in industry confidence

After the emergence of a more optimistic outlook in 2016, oil and gas industry executives appear to have reverted to a more cautious outlook on the future in 2017. What’s behind the shift in sentiment? Explore the findings from Deloitte’s 2017 oil and gas industry survey to learn more about the trends shaping the oil and gas industry and the opportunities and challenges expected across the value chain.

2017 oil and gas industry outlook overview

The overall industry has become more cautious once again.


Since last year, oil and gas price expectations have softened.


Capital spend across the industry is expected to slow.


Industry caution still leaves M&A activity in a holding pattern.


Perhaps unusually, broader economic expectations seem to be a lesser factor in current industry confidence.

Which sector appears the most confident?

Capital spending might be the strongest clue.



2015 and early 2016 saw sharp declines in employment. After recent stability, is headcount attrition over?


With more uncertainty, cost control is still critical.


Rig deployment expectations are another indicator of caution.

Policy or geopolitical issues

The upstream sector is more likely to be exposed to business environment risks. 

Strategic priorities

Near-term strategic priorities are all responding to the slow pace of the recovery. 


Growth drivers

The midstream sector is well positioned for growth after the downturn.


Controlling costs remains critical as the pace of the recovery has slowed. 


New infrastructure needs will provide opportunities when the recovery accelerates.


Refined product exports

The downstream sector is expecting a slow down of exports to global markets. 


A number of factors contribute to demand uncertainty. 


Controlling costs remains critical as the pace of the recovery has slowed. 


Demand factors still dominate identified opportunities.

Key takeaways

About the survey

Deloitte, together with the research firm Harrison Group, a YouGov company, undertook the 2017 US oil and gas industry survey (the “2017 survey” or “survey”) in the summer of 2017. The survey explores the near-term outlook of oil and gas professionals across all sectors of the industry. The findings cover survey respondents’ expectations for the remainder of 2017 and 2018, including: key areas of business and market environment, strategic priorities, and challenges and opportunities down the oil and gas value chain.

The survey consisted of over 250 structured interviews with industry professionals with experience ranging from five to more than thirty-one years, and from all four oil and gas industry subsectors: upstream, oilfield equipment and services, midstream, and downstream.

Read survey findings from past year:

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