Threat of Oil Price Spike Remains: Former Shell Exec

Wednesday, 8 Apr 2009 | 11:24 AM ET

Although oil prices should remain low for the next three to six months, the threat of surging prices remains, said John Hofmeister, former Shell president and CEO of U.S. operations.

"It's really sad," Hofmeister said, in an interview with CNBC. "We've lost half the drilling rigs in the country in the last seven months. The prices are probably going to stay down for some time."

Outlook for Energy Demand
As natural gas prices sit near its lowest levels in seven years, energy insiders wonder where price and demand will go. An outlook, with John Hofmeister, Citizens for Affordable Energy founder& CEO/Shell Oil Co. former president & CEO, U.S. operations.

However, this is setting the scene for another potential in spike in gasoline.

Although demand for oil has slipped, the world is still consuming more than 80 million barrels a day, he said. Hofmeister expects March numbers to show that demand was a little less than supply.

"The good news is the gasoline supply and demand is almost in equilibrium," he said. "But the refineries are operating about 80 percent."

If the Obama administration is successful with its economic recovery plan, oil prices will rebound, said Hofmeister.

"We're all going to have whiplash on gasoline prices and we'll be right back where we were a year ago," he said.

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