The IHS CERA Week Conference on Energy is being held in Houston this week and the current situation of the oil market and the prospects for the next few months is one of the main topics that are being analyzed.
More than 2,800 participants from 50 countries are attending the event this year.
The first day of the conference had a high profile speaker in OPEC’s Secretary General Abdalla Salem El-Badri.
El-Badri addressed the current low price of oil and said OPEC members are as interested as any other party in ending the current situation, which has hit Texas particularly hard.
Data from the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers indicate that last year more than 70,000 jobs were lost in the oil exploration and production sector.
“If we really work hard, we can find a solution but the problem is we have an over-supply at this time,” El-Badri said during a session in which he shared the stage with the event’s Chair, IHS’s Daniel Yergin, and Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency.
El-Badri also said OPEC members are considering temporarily freezing their oil production.
However, some conference attendees like Albert Nahas, vice president for International Government Affairs for Cheniere Energy, expressed their skepticism about oil producing countries being interested in restraining their production.
“Everybody wants somebody else to freeze,” Nahas commented, “because they all have serious budgetary needs, whether it’s Venezuela or Iran, or even Russia or Saudi Arabia.”
Birol explained his organization’s projection for a recovery of the industry, as presented in its report on the medium-term for the oil market.
“In 2016 we still see the oil prices being weak. But, with 2017, we are seeing a balancing starting in the markets, and 2017 and 2018, a rebound of the price,” the expert noted.
The conference ends on Friday, February 26th.