The energy, resources and marine sector (ERM) is expected to see “positive” growth in 2019 as oil and commodity prices continue to rise.

But according to Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s 2019 Energy, Resources & Marine Travel Forecast, there are several “caveats” to this optimism including Brexit and a potential trade war between the US and other major global economies.

Raphael Pasdeloup, senior vice president, CWT Energy, Resources & Marine, said: “After a few challenging years, we saw a slow but steady recovery in 2018. We look forward to a more positive outlook for the year ahead – though with a few big caveats.

“We expect continued growth in energy, metals and minerals commodities, as well as shipping. But geopolitical tensions, including around trade and Brexit, and a host of new and untested governments, especially in Latin America, could throw this positive trajectory off-course.

“While these factors make forecasting difficult, we project air and hotel prices to rise nearly everywhere in the sector in 2019.”

As oil prices have rebounded over the past year, energy companies in the US have increased their exploration budgets from $88.2 billion in 2016 to $132.5 billion this year.

CWT also highlights the planned reintroduction of sanctions on Iran by the US in November as a factor that may push up global oil prices in 2019.

The number of oil rigs has also increased – up from just 1,598 two years ago to the current figure of 2,273 rigs.

“We expect continued growth with an oil price per barrel in the $70 range through 2019,” added Pasdeloup.

“However, companies remain cautiously optimistic and keep their focus on cost control and driving efficiencies. Prices for most of the energy, metals and minerals commodities have been going up, promising more investments.

“We are also seeing growth in the shipping sector driven by a stronger global economy.”

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