The oil and gas team in the Barclays Corporate Banking division today announced it has been involved in deals providing funding for acquisitions and exploration and production (E&P) amounting to almost $355 million in the first quarter of this year.
The facilities have been provided for companies working in the North Sea and in the Americas, and include a range of reserve based lending for E&P activities in the United Kingdom Continental Shelf, the purchase of assets, letters of credit and corporate working capital funding.
In addition the oil and gas team, which has bases in Aberdeen and London, confirmed a number of proposed facilities are with a wide range of U.S. companies for approval.
The activity appears to reflect a marked upsurge in confidence among operators and service companies, Walter Cumming, Head of Oil and Gas, Corporate Banking, Barclays, said.
He continued: "The first quarter of this year has been extremely busy across the industry and, comparatively, far busier than the same period in 2011. We are now getting a much clearer feeling that the caution, which appeared to have been holding companies back from spending, has not entirely gone but has certainly lessened.
"There is liquidity in this sector and the stable commodity price is motivating the increase in deal-making and activity, buoyed by what is effectively a backlog of work held over from last year.
"If this trend continues then the rest of the year is certainly looking very promising, coupled with the UK chancellor's recent Budget commitment to support continued investment in the North Sea with additional field allowances and to provide clarity around tax relief for decommissioning.
"The North Sea provides significant opportunities for investment and will continue to do so for a long time to come."
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