Going into 09, oil and gas firms will continue to seek operational efficiencies ( BPR etc). They will have less of a tolerance for risky new projects. They will likely continue with investments/committments already made in alternative energy projects, but wont start new alt energy projects.
In general, like most forms, they will see belt tightening in 09--no risk taking endevours, just keeping the lights on in the most efficient manner stuff. I dont think they will see many reductions in headcount, but wont hire aggressively either.