U.S. oil and gas executives' outlook turned negative for the first time since the low point of the last oil bust, according to results of a survey released on Jan. 3 by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
A survey of executive sentiment fell to -10 from 47 in the prior quarter, the first negative reading since early 2016, when U.S. crude prices plummeted to $26 per barrel.
More than half of executives said they expect lower capital spending in 2019.
Still, executives are predicting the U.S. crude will end the year trading around $60 per barrel—a 30% increase over current prices.
Responses ranged from $50 to $64.99 per barrel, according to the survey conducted Dec. 12-20. Only 9% of executives said they were planning for a per barrel price below $50 for the year.
The U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude was trading around $46.61 on the morning of Jan. 3.