In its 2011 energy survey out this morning, audit firm KPMG is reporting that nearly two-thirds of those polled expect crude oil prices to exceed $121 per barrel this year.
John Kunasek is the Houston-based head of KPMG’s U.S. energy practice.
“When you have $121 oil, you do start to see some pressure on costs and costs of doing business. All that being said, we’ve come a long way in terms of putting in some underlying real strong foundations for the economy, and the higher energy prices, while it does put pressure on the recovery, at these levels, we would expect the recovery to continue.”
The survey also suggests higher oil prices are once again driving interest in developing alternative energy sources. Thirty-five percent of executives surveyed say their companies would boost research and development in such projects in 2011, up from 15% in 2010. Those polled expect shale oil and gas will draw the greatest new investment, followed by solar and wind power.