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Ben Geman Jan 4
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New report predicts 2018 oil exploration spending will drop

Photo: Daniel Acker / Bloomberg via Getty Images

The consultancy Wood Mackenzie predicts that oil industry investment this year in finding and assessing conventional new discoveries will slip again despite the improved price outlook.

One reason it matters: As global crude consumption keeps rising, some experts say that more robust industry investment in finding and developing conventional sources of oil will be needed to avoid a precarious supply situation in a few years, despite the rise of shale.