XTO Energy chairman and CEO Bob Simpson thinks we are entering a protracted bull cycle for oil and gas. Speaking at the annual Howard Weil energy conference in April, he said: "It is possible to have an extended cycle of 10 or 15 years and we think we're in the 6th year, maybe. U.S. gas production will struggle. There is still too big a discount on gas prices relative to oil, so if you really think oil prices will be extended, then you ought to take a position in gas. "Today the oil consumption going on in the world outweighs the rhetoric. Where's the next 20 million barrels a day going to come from? You just can't see it. I believe oil is going to stay very strong and within that, the company has quadrupled its oil and liquids production--although we are still primarily a natural gas company. "The future is the brightest it's ever been. Our strategy is the same, but the staff is mature. It's not about exploiting the specific asset, it's about exploiting the knowledge we have and these shale plays are perfect for that. These plays need XTO."