A "Temporary Time Out" for oil business

At OTC this year, a number of oil and gas officials have talked about the current industry downturn as tough but far from catastrophic and stressed the need to keep a long-term view of the business.
Luc Messier, a senior vice president with Houston-based ConocoPhillips, called the drop in business a “temporary time out in the overall energy chain.”
“We believe there will be a lot of new projects coming up, so we have to be ready for that,” he said, noting that the company continues to invest in new production through the down cycle.
Patrick Pouyanne, a senior vice president with France’s Total, also said the current situation is normal.
“We are in a cyclical industry,” he said. “A lot of people forget it. It is a basic of our industry.”
Cesar Palagi, a project manager with Brazil’s Petrobras, said his company is also moving ahead with new projects and spending despite the difficult environment.
“A low oil price is not keeping us from investing,” he said.
Matthia Bichsel, an executive vice president with Shell, echoed the sentiment, reminding attendees at a panel discussion of several “hard truths” facing the industry that demand it keep investing and not overreact to short-term problems.
They include global population growth, the increasing difficulty of accessing new sources of oil and gas and growing efforts to limit carbon dioxide emissions, he said.
“We’re in a period of volatility,” he said, “but long-term nothing has changed.”
–Brett Clanton