The IEA and others continue to flag up an investment ‘shortfall’ and supposed coming supply crunch. Are such worries overstated?

Global upstream capex was $434bn in 2016, a multi-year low. This was down 25% from 2015 and 40% below the 2014 peak of $730bn, according to the IEA’s ‘World Energy Investment 2017’, released last week.

Upstream spending is two-thirds of total oil and gas investment, which fell by 26% to $650bn, a cumulative 2014-16 fall of 38%....