Steven Kopits is the president of Princeton Energy Advisors, and contributes guest posts to The Barrel.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, BP CEO Bob Dudley took a bearish view on the price of oil, noting that the present feels like 1986, when oil slumped from $30 a barrel to $10 and did not recover until in 1990. “The fundamental supply and demand does remind me of 1986 a bit, where we could go into a period in this decade of lower oil prices,” Dudley noted, adding that prices may stay in a range below $60 for as long as three years. “It will be a long time before we see $100 again.”
I agree with Dudley: 1986 is the appropriate template for today’s oil market dynamics. However, the understanding of the precedent is incomplete, and the analogy, imperfect. The differences matter.