Survey Says: CFOs focused on hydraulic fracturing methods, labor force

For those looking oil and gas executive spending trends heading in to 2014, check out this survey by the consultancy firm BDO USA LLP. The survey asked 100 chief financial officers their views on the energy industry in 2014. According to the survey, environmental responsibility concerns are starting to guide investments, particularly, hydraulic fracturing methods.

According to the survey, 61 percent of CFOs plan to increase their capital investments in environmentally-friendly exploration and production processes. The number this year represents a 15 percent increase over the previous year, the survey said.

“While 60 percent of CFOs similarly anticipate increasing their investment in non-conventional resources, such as shale, this suggests that U.S. energy companies have accepted that environmental stewardship must be a crucial component of their business plans,” the survey said.

Although CFO’s may be looking to environmentally-friendly products or technologies, the survey did reveal, however, that many companies may be investing in its own labor force instead. In 2014, 49 percent of the CFOs surveyed believe company labor costs will grow by 15 percent.

The labor market hasn’t caught up with the growth of the oil and gas industry yet, said Lance Froelich, senior director of compensation consulting in the global employer services group of BDO. “A very significant percentage of open positions are being filled by buying talent, and this phenomenon is driving salaries, sign-on incentives and special perquisites higher,” he added.

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