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Compared to other industries that are part of the S&P 500, energy takes the lead for the amount of dollars spent in terms of capital expenditures. In 2012, energy companies in the S&P500 will spend 38% of all S&P500 capex; this compares to just 12% in 1999 and 2000.  Oilfield service and equipment companies are the least capital intensive and include names like Dril-Quip (DRQ), National Oilwell Varco (NOV) and Core Laboratories (CLB). 

While we expect a slight tick down in capex for the energy sector in 2013, between 1996 and 2012, nominal capex for the S&P500 increased 108%; nominal capex for the energy sector increased 472% over the same time period.  Energy accounted for 61% of total S&P500 capex growth from ’96 – ‘12, while utilities was second at 20% of the growth.

Energy Capex Growth - 1