[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the October 2021 issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine.]

We know that 2020 was a firestorm, followed by a big rebound in oil and gas equities since then, with natural gas rising above $4. Fortunately, most executive teams are continuing to show spending discipline, even though commodity prices have recovered. All this begs the question: Have E&P equities finally become more investible?

It seems more optimism is in the air. When recapping results from the second-quarter reporting season this summer, Raymond James E&P analyst John Freeman expressed a positive outlook in his report: “The ‘shift’ in the E&P mindset has established some strong roots.”

He refers to the shift of public E&P companies toward meeting investor expectations by slowing spending or growth strategies, regardless of what oil and gas prices do, to focus on rate of return to shareholders.

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