Former Head at International Energy Agency
- Post-coronavirus oil demand recovery scenarios
- Supply-side analysis of OPEC+, US shale and other key producers
- Impact of industry capital investment cycles on capacity
- Energy policy incentives and changes
Coronavirus shutdowns crushed oil demand in 2020. What are your observations regarding the recovery pace?
The EIA [Energy Information Administration], OPEC [Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries] and the IEA [International Energy Agency] seem to have similar estimates of around a 5-6 million barrel-per day demand recovery in 2021. Do you think that consensus seems right, given the uncertainty surrounding potential stimuli, vaccines and trade? Why might demand be higher or lower than that estimate?
How big of an impact do you think economically active people being vaccinated will have on demand? Is it still too soon to say?
Last week both Shell and BP cited demand deterioration in January as being worse than the Q4 2020 pace. BP noted it was down 20%. Why would recovery be going backwards, and do you think that’s just a one-month trend?
What’s your outlook for China in 2021? Would you expect the strength of its H2 2020 imports to be sustainable? How concerned are you by some of these new restrictions?
If the Chinese economy doubles by 2035, what does that mean for oil demand growth? Could you estimate the ratio of GDP growth to demand growth for oil in China?
When could global oil demand make a full recovery to 2019 levels?
Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said last week that 30-40% of the remaining gap in demand is related to air travel. Does that seem like a fair number to you, or is it any more or less?
Is there a price level where we should be concerned that the demand recovery could be hindered? Brent is at USD 60 per barrel.
What is your view on peak oil demand, given the pent-up demand and long recovery for air travel? The topic got a lot of airtime last summer, but is it likely to happen in the next few years? If we’re going to recover to 2019 levels in 2022, it doesn’t seem like it’s already happened.
What are the critical policy demand changes that you think will impact oil consumption growth in the coming years?
Would you expect oil supply to be able to ramp up as quickly as it was shut down globally? The supply response was rapid, after a brief share war with Saudi Arabia.
Do you think the US is going to lose market share, relative to where it was in 2019?
When did you come to the conclusion that OPEC+ will micromanage this situation? It’s been a volatile period, with two oil price collapses in the last five or six years.
Do you think there is enough investment happening in the industry, whether in OPEC+ or Shell? Is there a risk of insufficient supply if demand recovers? There’s been volatility even in some OPEC countries. What is the risk that we could have an oil price super cycle?
You mentioned OPEC+ doesn’t have a target price, but has talked about inventory targets. In the IEA’s most recent Oil Market Report, OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] inventories were around 167 million barrels above the five-year average, and they’ve declined for four consecutive months. Do you expect inventory draws to continue, and could we return to the five-year average in 2021?
What are the one or two most important things that we should be following in oil in 2021?
Do you think oil prices will be higher, lower or about the same a year from now?
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