What’s 2020 like for E&Ps’ heads of investor relations? Fewer analysts are covering E&Ps, they report. And some of those still covering E&Ps are now assigned as well to other energy sectors, including renewables.

On the buyside, hedge funds are walking away for now—understandably, one IR chief said, as money to be made in the E&P space has been trending sideways. Institutional-fund managers want sustainability reports and a slide or more on ESG efforts. And investors are judging E&P returns against the broad industrials space. They don’t want to hear about production growth. They want to hear about growth in returns.

And the virtual-meeting world has come with upside and downside. The upside is that more fund managers can participate due to no travel needed; the downside is the loss of chance meetings at symposia.

Investor visited with four IR heads. Their insight is here with attribution withheld to promote full candor. They represent operators in basins from oil-weighted to gas-weighted and from small caps to large caps. Sellside analysts on their recent quarterly calls range from five to 11.

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