“All that matters is winnin’!” No doubt I missed the deep philosophical undertones that the script writers of Dallas embedded within their hit show of too long ago to remember but even in my formative years I quickly realised that hitting a big oil find was good news. Building energy sector optimism and higher oil prices almost always leads to more exploration spend and this means more capital expenditure – which is where companies like Schlumberger (SLB in the United States) one of the world’s leading oil services names will be more than happy to help. Pacing through the slides from the one oil major’s (Royal Dutch Shell) investor day earlier this week all the headlines will be centred on their cancellation of the scrip dividend programme and confirmation of plans for a share buyback. Given that nothing smells more like turning a corner than giving real hard cash back to shareholders there can be few surprises that the shares in one of the UK’s largest listed companies are now kicking around a three year high.  However don’t expect prudent austerity to last forever. If you want to ape JR Ewing’s mantra you have to put the spade work in and that means exploring for new oil and gas fields…… as well as keeping up your dividend commitments!