Sustained high hydrocarbon prices have opened up opportunities for oil and gas development and fuelled a strong appetite for oil and gas stocks. Even the financial crisis of 2008/09 only temporarily affected the oil price with prices recovering strongly in a relatively short period of time following the initial crash and prices being consistently sustained around the $100/bbl mark thereafter. Oil and gas companies need capital to exploit ever more difficult or marginal reserves including unconventional resources such as shale gas, heavy oil and oil sands. In addition, the application of technology is an expensive but vital component of effective exploration and production.
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