BP plc CEO Bob Dudley Sees Weak Oil Prices Continuing Until Next Year

According to BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP) CEO, Bob Dudley, oil prices will remain weak until next year, as production outpaces demand. Mr. Dudley was speaking at the two-day “OPEC Energy Seminar” being held in Vienna. The seminar would be followed by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) bi-annual production meeting on Friday. He told the conference: “We are still seeing a lot of supply. There is demand growth, there’s just a lot more supply,” Financial Times reports.

Talking to the Financial Times at the energy summit, the BP chief said that he anticipated “some softness” in oil prices as OPEC continues with its policy of limiting higher-cost producers by maintaining its current oil production levels.

Crude prices, which had started falling last year, touched their lowest point in January this year at around $45 per barrel. Although prices have since rebounded to about $65 a barrel, they remain well below the average price of $100 a barrel from 2010 to 2014. In November 2014, OPEC decided not to stop oil prices from falling, in order to protect its declining share in the market, and to extend the age of oil in the face of weak demand, and the US shale revolution.

Some of the oil cartel members are of the view that this strategy was working. As demand has increased and international oil companies are reducing investments, US shale production has fared better than expectations. While US crude output has increased about 60% since the beginning of the current decade, it has recently started to slow down. This has led some in the industry to question the price of oil going forward. On US shale, Mr. Dudley said it “clearly is not coming off as fast as some people thought. So we need to be able to operate at $60-$65 a barrel.”

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