An economist who correctly predicted the fall in oil price this year has told CNBC that the U.S. government could look to bail out its energy sector in 2015 as the commodity's low price starts hitting the country's economy.
"The U.S. energy sector is clearly important," Steen Jakobsen, the chief economist at Danish investment bank Saxo Bank, told CNBC Wednesday. "They are paramount to the long-term strategic issue that the U.S. will be self-dependent on oil."
Jakobsen is part of team that puts together an annual "outrageous predictions" outlook that has been running for more than a decade. He concedes that these so-called black swan scenarios are "relatively controversial", but says they could help investors navigate any real-life turmoil that arises. His prediction on a U.S. bailout is his own personal prediction and did not make the formal list that the Copenhagen-based company published on Wednesday morning.
A large number of economists believe the drilling frenzy and huge domestic energy boom has helped the U.S. to recover since the global financial crash of 2008, contributing an estimated 0.3-0.6 percentage points to U.S. gross domestic product. But Jakobsen believes this tailwind could soon become a headwind despite gas becoming cheaper at the pump for U.S. citizens.
"It will subtract 0.5 percent from GDP, bare minimum," he said. "There's a precedent here, back in the 80s we also had an oil crisis and that led to bank recoveries."
He added that oil companies are in for a "massive correction," similar to the downtrend seen in mining stocks, explaining that exploration was getting "hugely expensive" with energy majors having little free cash flow available.