Though majors’ planned 2019 capex spend is just 56% of the 2013 peak, they claim to be doing more with less. With Gulf NOCs also drilling at record levels, fears of a lack of upstream investment are rapidly receding.

Latest US production numbers from the EIA show crude output topped 12mn b/d for the first time in January. Though the forecast rise of 800,000 b/d for 2019 is well down on 2018’s record 1.9mn b/d growth, output is slated to rise by a further 800,000 b/d during 2020...