The chief executive officer of Norway’s biggest oil company says he has few doubts that crude will again trade at around $50 to $60 a barrel, marking a jump in prices that could be more than 30 percent compared with today’s level.
“Eventually, I’m very confident that it will,” CEO Eldar Saetre said in a television interview with Bloomberg’s Manus Cranny and Anna Edwards on Wednesday. “But there is a lot of uncertainty. We still have a situation with a lot of volatility.”
Following a June 2014 peak, oil prices collapsed 77 percent through January, when prices hit a low point of $27 a barrel. Brent crude has since recovered some of that drop as supply disruptions from Nigeria to Canada trimmed a worldwide surplus. But those developments failed to maintain a rally above $50, and oil has since dropped to about $45.
“The market will find a balance in the course of this year,” Saetre said in a separate interview in Oslo after a press conference. “But we believe it will take a while before we get a normal situation on the stockpile side. And it’s difficult to say how the market will play out in the meantime. There’s a lot of uncertainty.”
The fallout of lower oil prices on Statoil’s earnings was broadly what the company had expected, Saetre said on Bloomberg TV. The oil company posted its first adjusted loss as the price decline took its toll. That comes after BP on Tuesday reported a 45 percent slump in earnings and missed analyst estimates.