Barclays analysts have reduced their oil and natural gas forecasts for 2009, estimating that spending on exploration and production will drop 15% in North America and increase 20% elsewhere. "We had previously expected spending to increase in North America during 2009; however, lower natural gas prices due to supply growth, announced budget cuts, pressure on cash flows, credit market issues, and concerns about demand growth have led us to revise our forecast," analysts said.

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