While the oil market has experienced a few turbulent years, the chief executive of Italian oil and gas giant Eni believes the price of oil will eventually tick higher, but that it would still have to go through a transition period during 2017.
"I think that the price is going up," Claudio Descalzi, CEO of Eni, told CNBC on Wednesday.
Over the course of the last three years, the Italian firm has been undergoing its own restructuring to weather the volatility seen in the oil sector.
In Eni's "2017–2020 Strategic Plan" which was released Wednesday, the group said it expected to see a gentle rise in oil prices in the coming years, giving a forecast of up to $70 per barrel by 2020.
Nevertheless, the oil and gas major said in the report that it would "remain disciplined" by keeping its costs in check.
"I think that we are still in a transition period because the inventories are still very [rich] and we are still sell (to) the market, they have to generally reduce the inventories, the stocks and that is going to create some big ground noise."
"But clearly we are going to an imbalance between demand and supply," said Descalzi, adding that he believed the price was going to increase – admitting he was unsure when it would happen exactly – but that 2017 was "still a transition era."