ChevronTexaco CEO Says Era of Cheap Oil Ending
Oil prices have shot up dramatically in the past year thanks to tight supplies and rising demand, prompting a growing crowd within the energy industry to ponder whether sky-high oil prices are here to stay.
"The time when we could count on cheap oil and even cheaper natural gas is clearly ending," Dave O'Reilly, chief executive of ChevronTexaco, told a Cambridge Energy Research Associates energy conference.
Demand from Asia, in particular, has been a large factor, he said.
"The new Asian demand is reshaping the marketplace -- and we're seeing the center of gravity of petroleum markets shift to Asia, and in particular to China and India," he said.
Not everyone agrees with ChevronTexaco's view on the change in the energy markets.
Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded company, for example, maintains that there has been no fundamental shift in the energy equation and that the oil business is one that is characterized by cycles.