Total boss rules out oil price recovery in 2016

7th December 2015, Comments 0 comments

Oil prices are not expected to rise next year, the head of French energy giant Total told reporters in Qatar on Monday.

"We don't anticipate a recovery in 2016," Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne said on the sidelines of the International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) in Doha.

"Having said that I don't know if the price will be at 40, 45, 50, 60" dollars per barrel, he added.

"In 2016 the growth of capacity will still be larger than the growth of demand.

"I am not very optimistic for 2016, beyond that it is difficult to know."

Oil prices have nosedived by more than 60 percent in the last 18 months, with the world's largest oil producing nations defying calls to reduce output.

Crude prices fell heavily on Friday as West Texas Intermediate sank 1.0 percent and Brent lost 1.9.

However, Pouyanne added that Total had budgeted to meet the continued lower oil prices and ruled out any job losses in the near future.

"My job is to be sure that we can make profits whatever the price is," he told AFP.

"The good answer which we are working on in Total is to lower the break-even," he said, adding that the objective is to break even at $60 per barrel in 2017.

Pouyanne added that he was not surprised by OPEC's decision last week against slashing high output levels.

He added that he expected "non-OPEC supply" to contract next year.

"Non-OPEC supply will contract because US supply will contract from the middle of next year. From mid-2016 we should begin to see a contraction of US production," he said.

Pouyanne is one of several big names from the oil industry attending the conference, including the CEO of Shell, Ben Van Beurden and Amin Nasser, the president and CEO of Saudi Aramco.

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© 2015 AFP

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