Push for U.S. energy independence top industry trend for 2014, survey shows

03 25, 2014 by By Jennifer Larino, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune Photo credit: Ted Jackson

Energy professionals see a dynamic year ahead for their industry, driven in large part by the push to wean the nation off of foreign oil and gas, according to a Capital One survey released on Monday (March 24).

The survey, which gathered feedback from professionals attending the North American Prospect Expo in February, found that 56 percent saw the push for U.S. energy independence as one of the key industry trends in 2014. The expo, held in Houston each year, is among the world's largest for buying, selling and trading oil and gas prospects and producing properties.

That momentum is one of several trends insiders expect to drive industry mergers and acquisitions this year.

Other trends energy professionals expect to shape activity this year include growing opposition to shale drilling (24 percent) and growth in alternative energy (11 percent). As far as oil prices go, the majority of respondents were optimistic, with 71 percent expecting oil prices to remain steady or even increase this year. The price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude, a light grade of crude oil used a pricing benchmark, was down slightly to $99.43 on Monday (March 24) morning.

Respondents were only slightly less optimistic about natural gas prices, with about two-thirds expecting stable or rising gas prices. Fluctuating commodity prices, increase regulation and restricted access to capital were among the top concerns for those surveyed.

We're in the middle of reading the full results of the survey right now, but invite you to read along with us. You can find a copy of the survey at the bottom of this post.

What trends do you see driving or standing in the way of energy industry activity in 2014? Is there anything about the Capital One survey that jumps out to you?