Crude oil prices are not expected to go back to $ 100 plus per barrel levels of pre-2014 according to Shashi Shanker, Chairman and Managing Director of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.

Speaking at the India Energy Forum by CERAWeek, Shanker said that oil exploration and production companies would have to learn to sustain themselves at the current price points.

“The year 2020 has not been a very good year for the oil industry, be it upstream, refining, or petrochemicals, these have all been under stress. The year started with a price war, the price came down to an all-time low, and there was surplus inventory,” he said.

“These factors put a lot of stress on the oil and gas industry. This pandemic has fastened the pace of energy transition. Going forward, we realise that this is going to be a new normal. Probably we are not going to see the price before 2014, like $ 100 plus per barrel. Now the prices are going to remain in this range. And we need to learn how to survive and operate in this low-price scenario,” he added.

Speaking at another session, Manoj Jain, Chairman and Managing Director at GAIL (India) Limited said, “We have seen natural gas prices falling down sharply and in between there has been significant volatility in January and February even before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.”

Jain said that gas consumption has now returned to earlier levels. “In India, the natural gas consumption has picked up to pre-Covid-19 levels in September 2020. This is the fastest growth which has happened for any commodity.”

Commenting on India’s growing gas demand, Meg Gentle, President and Chief Executive Officer at Tellurian Inc said, “India has increased its LNG imports by 20 per cent in 2020 despite the Covid-19 pandemic period…The Indian market has the potential to consume 120 million tonnes of Liquefied Natural Gas. It could easily be the world’s largest importer of LNG by 2030.”