OIL PRICE: $70/BBL
Could an oil and gas bounce-back loom in America's near future? During his appearance on CNBC's "Squawk Box," energy magnate Boone Pickens seems to think so, forecasting prices to rise to $70 per barrel by the end of the year.
Pickens noted producers' efforts to balance the rocky market with rig cuts, but blamed overzealous production habits for slashing oil prices by half since June. Today, U.S. crude prices reached as low as $43.
Baker Hughes reported a rig count of 866; a far cry from the U.S. high of 4,530 in 1981, but still well above the low of 488.
Pickens also offered forecast for natural gas prices, which he predicted would rise from the current price of $2.84 to $6 in the next five years.
"We were so efficient, the industry did such a good job, the industry showed up with too much gas," he said in the interview. "So, at one time—around 5 years ago—we had 1,400 rigs running on natural gas. Today we have 300. We oversupplied the market, and boy, we did it big time."
He also mentioned progress being made with the Pickens Plan— his energy plan proposed in 2008—including the possibility of trucks running on natural gas.
"It's happening," Pickens said. "But man, it's happening slowly ... The thing you can count on in nautral gas, the price isn't going to run up on you, like it does on oil."
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PLATTS - National Australia Bank announced Thursday it will no longer provide financing for new thermal coal projects.
Petrobras and ExxonMobil signed a memorandum of understanding regarding a strategic alliance to jointly identify and evaluate potential business opportunities.
ExxonMobil Development Africa B.V. has acquired a 25 percent indirect interest in Mozambique’s gas-rich Area 4 block from Eni and assume responsibility for midstream operations.
U.S. Rig Count is down 1 rig from last week to 930, with oil rigs down 4 to 747, gas rigs up 3 to 183, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged. Canada Rig Count is up 19 rigs from last week to 238, with oil rigs up 22 to 134 and gas rigs down 3 to 104.