Dec 9 (Reuters) - Oil and gas companies will spend about $723 billion on exploration and production (E&P) in 2014, an increase of 6.1 percent from 2013, Barclays Bank said in a report on Monday.
E&P spending outside North America is likely to increase 6 percent to a record $524 billion in 2014, a smaller increase than the 10 percent rise this year, Barclays said.
The bank forecast an increase of more than 7 percent in E&P spending in North America in 2014, compared with a 2 percent increase in 2013, based on a survey of more than 300 oil and gas companies conducted last month.
E&P companies are basing their spending budgets for the year on oil prices of $98 per barrel for Brent and $89 per barrel for West Texas Intermediate, and a benchmark U.S. natural gas price of $3.66 per British thermal unit, the bank said. (Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)