There's little doubt that oil is one of this year's biggest market themes. No wonder, then that it's also been a hot topic at this week's SuperReturn conference of private equity execs in Berlin, with a number saying the price fall has led to new investment opportunities.
"There is an opportunity in energy. We tend to resist raising funds that do a single narrow thing, but are clearly dedicating capital from our opportunistic funds into the energy space," Jonathan Lavine, Managing Partner and CIO at Sankaty Advisors, told CNBC on Wednesday.
"The real question is how long does oil stay down; what will OPEC's next move be?" he added, referring to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Oil prices slid 60 percent between June and January, when they fell close to $45 a barrel, amid a weak recovery in the global economy and reluctance by OPEC to cut production.
Prices have since recovered some ground, with Brent crude prices trading near $60 a barrel on Wednesday, but they remain some 42 percent below levels traded a year ago.
And this has had a marked impact on the sector – slashing the values of firms, triggering job cuts and putting billions of dollars' worth of oil and gas exploration projects at risk.