Okla., Texas, ND in top 10 for global oil investment survey

By Luke Geiver | December 06, 2016

A Canadian public policy think-tank has released its annual global survey of petroleum sector executives designed to rank the most and least attractive areas for oil and gas investment. Oklahoma, for the first time, has beaten out Texas as the most attractive area for investment, the 84-page report said.

“Most U.S. states are bucking the global trend of decreasing confidence for investment, and Oklahoma’s top spot in this year’s ranking demonstrates how coherent environmental policy and sound regulation can improve investor perception,” said Kenneth Green, senior director of natural resource studies and co-author of the survey.

Continental Resources and Marathon, two prominent Bakken operators, have invested heavily in the SCOOP/STACK plays of Oklahoma in the past year.

Eight of the top ten most attractive areas for investment reside in the U.S., according to the study. North Dakota, earning a higher survey score then the previous year, ranks sixth in the world. In the group of 36 jurisdictions with medium-sized reserves, North Dakota ranks third in the world, trailing Oklahoma and Wyoming, but leading Norway-North Sea and the Netherlands.

Texas still remains No. 1 among the 12 jurisdictions with the largest petroleum reserves, the study said. “With oil and gas sector confidence declining around the world, it’s especially for policymakers to pursue competitive tax and regulatory regimes, and to have stable environmental protections that attract, not deter, petroleum investments,” said Taylor Jackson, co-author of the study.

Of the 381 survey participants, 50 percent were from conventional oil exploration and development. 11 percent of the exploration and development portion of the survey group (which comprised of roughly 65 percent of all participant types) were from the unconventional oil sector.

The survey did include commentary provided on a handful of regions, including North Dakota and Montana. On North Dakota, respondents said this: “Very stable regulatory body over oil and gas. Consults with the industry but is independent.”

And of Montana, respondents said, “all control in certain areas of the state has been ceded to the manager of the Sage Grouse Recovery Program. Even routine maintenance must be pre-approved, a process that takes weeks.”

The full study can be viewed here.