ConocoPhillips Co. Chief Economist Helen Currie joined Hart Energy’s Jessica Morales for a look at global oil markets following the unprecedented COVID-19 shock and when she believes demand will most likely recover. To monitor demand recovery, Currie shared several key indicators she has been watching.

“The key thing that we have been focused on recently is leading indicators so that we can try to get an advanced notice of is the demand recovery solid and is it going to stick? Or are we going to see more of a flattening of demand through the summer months?” she said. “Some of the specific things, for example, that we are looking at are around mobility—people getting out and moving, shopping, driving data, VMT (vehicle miles traveled),  passenger travel through airports, flights and so forth. There is a lot of data out there fortunately that we and other folks can look at to try and get an idea of how solid the consumer response is to the reopenings.”

Currie also commented on the possibility of another wave of consolidation for the oil sector.

“We do see the service sector getting hit hard in this downcycle, but on the E&P side that contributes to costs falling as well,” she said. “So, that translates into some incrementally better or lower breakeven costs and I think that will help the sector along the way to recovery.”

“We think the sector has a very positive story to tell and we have a bright future ahead of us,” she later continued. “We think about our future in the context of the world has a growing economy and the population is growing and that translates into the need for a greater amount of affordable and reliable energy. We’ve seen that oil and natural gas really fills that need to a large extent. By and large, we think oil and natural gas demand will grow as we go forward.”

Jump to a topic: 

  • COVID-19 demand shock (0:22)
  • Demand recovery outlook (2:01)
  • Key indicators for recovery (3:11)
  • Consolidation (4:15)
  • ConocoPhillips U.S. production forecast (6:15)
  • OPEC+ influence (7:44)
  • Non-OPEC projects (9:10)
  • Industry’s path forward (10:14)