“Brent futures are set to fall to as low as $31 a barrel by the end of the first quarter from about $48 now.”; “People know these prices are unsustainable,” he said, and they will lead to large-scale layoffs and cuts in maintenance spending, which will eventually sharply reduce overall output. BP’s announcement of layoffs was just the start…; “Just a few months ago, analysts predicted the price would bottom out at $70 a barrel, and then $60. Now it’s at $46, and many have given up trying to guess when the bottom will come.”
From an article by Will Kennedy and Firat Kayakiran published on 16 January 2015 by BloombergBusinessweek under the headline:
“Big Oil Companies Get Serious With Cost Cuts on Worst Slump Since 1986”
Major oil companies are awaking from their slumber and facing up to the magnitude of the crash in crude prices.
From Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) canceling a $6.5 billion project in Qatar to Schlumberger Ltd. firing about 9,000 people and Statoil ASA (STL) giving up exploration in Greenland, the oil industry this week concluded that the slump is no blip.
And there’s certainly more unwinding to come. For most of this month, crude oil has traded below $50 a barrel, a level few predicted even two months ago when OPEC signaled it wouldn’t cut production to defend prices. If the market stays this depressed, global spending on exploration and production could fall more than 30 percent this year, the biggest drop since 1986, according to forecasts from Cowen & Co.