HOUSTON—The current energy investing environment is “the worst we’ve seen in multiple decades,” according to KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Leo Mariani, characterizing investor interest in oil and gas company equities.

Multiples of many E&P companies are below even where they were in the late 1990s—prior to the shale era—when they had an exploration model with a much higher risk than it is today, he said while providing an industry outlook at a breakfast hosted by KeyBanc at the 2020 NAPE Summit.

One headwind energy investors face is the constant narrative that oil demand growth is going to zero, he said. “We’re going negative at some point in the future, but I continue to strongly believe that is overblown.” Oil demand growth decline “is a multi-decade process and not something that happens abruptly in this new decade.”

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