Cuts in U.S. oil production will eliminate the excess that sent prices into a tailspin, allowing crude to bounce back to $80 a barrel in 2016, an energy industry investment banker said Wednesday.
“We got thrown into this price fallout by a small oversupply, about a million and a half barrels (a day). A million and a half sounds like a lot, but the daily market is 90 million,” said Maynard Holt, co-president and head of exploration and production investment banking at Tudor, Pickering Holt & Co. “So our own guys think we’re hitting the brakes awfully hard … and once we pull that million and a half back off the market … it will push us back into something like $80, and that’s our forecast for next year.”
Holt was one of four energy industry executives who took part in a panel discussion at LSU’s E.J. Ourso College of Business. The discussion was part of the school’s Energy Initiative, which if approved, will add an undergraduate minor in energy and an energy specialization in the Flores Masters of Business Administration program this fall.
The other panelists were Richard Alario, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Key Energy Services; Cornelius Dupré, chairman and CEO of Dupré Energy Services; and Matt McCarroll, president and CEO of Fieldwood Energy. About 100 students attended.
Holt said generally slumps in the energy industry take place because the entire economy is “going to heck in a handbasket.”
This slump is one of only two that resulted from overproduction. The other took place in 1986.
The difference between now and then is that major producer Saudia Arabia watched for six years as the daily supply outstripped demand. By 1986, the oversupply had grown to 9 million barrels per day. Fixing that resulted in a prolonged and painful collapse for the industry.
This time around the Saudis told the U.S. producers to take care of the problem, Holt said. That sounds bad, but it’s actually going to balance the market more quickly, and that’s reason for optimism.
Alario said the current downturn is the fastest he’s ever seen, and in general, the quicker activity falls off, the quicker the recovery.
Dupré told students the slump isn’t a “doom and gloom” scenario.
It’s a golden opportunity for students to take advantage of other people’s negativity, he said. The money might not be as good this year as last, but graduates can get in on the ground floor of a business that has downsized, Dupré said. Never miss a chance to network, and leverage every connection possible to get an interview with an employer, he said.
Alario said once hired, graduates should take on additional assignments, which will make them shine more brightly to their supervisors.
Back when Alario was starting out, taking on extra work meant you were doing the same thing as your co-workers.
But it’s different for millennials, known for their “work-to-live” mindset, and showing initiative will increase their supervisors’ appreciation, he said.