In an exclusive roundtable discussion, analysts offered a bullish outlook for 2021, expressing cautious optimism that a vaccine breakthrough will significantly improve oil demand and prices as the economy goes back to normal in the second half of next year.

Speakers in this in-depth discussion include:

  • Dr. Keith Myers, President of Research, Westwood Global Energy
  • Dr. Yousef Alshammari, CEO and Head of Oil Research, CMarkits
  • James West, Senior Managing Director, Evercore ISI

“The [North American] shale outlook is a little bit better, but there are still a lot of rigs and equipment lying around; so pricing is going to be under a lot of pressure,” West said.

Discussing the roadmap to recovery for European companies, Myers said, “It’s a very exciting time to be in the energy business, but it’s also very uncertain.”

“Everything in our business hinges on oil prices,” he said, adding that the resurgence of the pandemic in Europe had a “knock on effect” on the expected oil recovery.

The analysts also discussed how Biden administration will push investments in renewables and green energy, moving forward.

“There has been some belief and speculation that Joe Biden’s victory can be bearish for the oil markets but I have certainly been cautious in agreeing to the statement,” said Alshammari. “We must remember that during the era of Obama’s administration when Joe Biden was vice president, oil prices were way above $100 per barrel and that period between 2011 and 2014 played a key role in revolutionizing the U.S. shale industry.”

The analysts agreed that hydrogen will play an important role in the energy mix of the future and that technology will be key in shaping the market recovery.

“We’re bullish on hydrogen for a variety of reasons,” West explained. “We have policymakers that are putting hydrogen into the rebuilding programs and will subsidize hydrogen for probably the next decade, which will bring us to scale. Secondly, the ESG and societal pressures are putting typical oil and gas companies into the hydrogen business…Hydrogen will be a game changer,” he said.

Jump to a topic:

  • 0:46—Shale Outlook
  • 2:00—Resurgence of virus and impact on Europe’s oil market
  • 4:15—Extension of OPEC+ cuts into 2021
  • 7:43—President-elect Joe Biden and energy transition
  • 12:26—European oil majors realigning goals with net zero 2050
  • 17:13—‘Hydrogen will be a game changer’
  • 21:10—Digitalization will shape recovery
  • 28:46—Final thoughts on the industry’s path forward