As in the surveys of the past two years, the oil and gas industry's prospects in Latin America and the Caribbean continue to be favorable. A large majority of respondents believe that operating in the region in 2019 will be more attractive than in the previous year. This expectation is supported by stable or upward price forecasts, projections of increased investments, greater merger and acquisition activity, improvements in the regulatory landscape and greater financing availability.
However, even in this favorable context, levels of optimism compared to the survey 12 months ago are more moderate. On the one hand, almost half of the responses indicate that the operational costs of the industry will climb this year. On the other, political, regulatory and commercial risks continue to be high for respondents.
Such factors continue marking a dividing line between countries. Mexico is a striking example: after being the preferred country of respondents in the past three years in the investment climate category, it now occupies third place. The first steps of the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador — among which the suspension of the two licensing rounds scheduled for February 14 stand out — have impacted investor expectations. Conversely, Brazil and Colombia are taking a leading role in opening up their respective oil and gas sectors.
The survey's responses comprise 84 actors belonging to oil and gas companies (42.6%), consultants (25.3%), suppliers of equipment and services (16%), gas companies, biofuels and engineering firms as well as NGOs and governmental agencies. Some 38.1% of the respondents hold executive positions and 15.4% project management roles.
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