The oil and gas industry has had a really rough two and a half years. So you can call that the Ugly, for sure. But what, realistically, are the future prospects for the industry? Well, it can be broken down into three segments: short, mid and long term.
It looks like the oil industry may finally be bouncing off the bottom of a long, hard fall. There are signs of optimism from both investors and industry insiders that they are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Some cautious hiring is starting to replace some of the thousands of laid off workers. The expectation is that oil prices will see at least $50 a barrel within the next five or six months.
Once the magic barrel prices are achieved, everyone seems to think things will go fairly smooth for quite some time, barring any unexpected circumstances. Everything will go on as it has before in the past, during more prosperous times. Technology has allowed drilling costs to drop dramatically, and everyone is ready to take advantage of that.
This can’t be anything but as ugly as the recent past, and anyone who thinks differently is just sticking their head in the sand. Prices of electric cars are dropping all the time, there are many ways left to make ICE cars more fuel efficient – short of turning them into electric ones, and gas prices have a habit of rising on a regular basis.
Add all of that to continual advancements in renewable energy, and it’s impossible to deny that oil has a sad, sad future ahead. The only thing in question is the timing. No one can yet say how many years are left.
However, there is still one bright spot left. Although oil and coal will eventually become almost obsolete, there should still be plenty of reason to drill for the cleaner natural gas. So it may not be the death of an entire industry, just a matter of shifting focus.