Cost cutting and project deferrals are key themes in 2015. Some deepwater projects will not be sanctioned this year as originally expected. Capital and operating costs will fall but not as much as elsewhere. E&A spend could drop by 30%, but larger players may capitalise on lower rig-rates and cheaper entry costs. M&A activity will increase but the pool of buyers for distressed sellers is limited. Conflict and politics will also influence the industry in a turbulent and difficult year.