The Trump administration's steel quotas present a challenge to building new oil and gas infrastructure in the United States, but rising crude prices help fuel investment, Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden tells CNBC.
International benchmark Brent crude hit a nearly four-year high above $81 a barrel on Monday as the market braces for U.S. sanctions on Iran that threaten to wipe about 1 million barrels a day off the market. Brent's multiyear high came after OPEC, Russia and other oil producers declined to boost output to tackle rising prices.
While van Beurden says the market is not running out of oil, he believes supplies are getting tight as crude stockpiles fall to normal levels after several years of oversupply and as oil producers get closer to pumping at maximum capacity.
Oil buyers typically lament rising prices, but van Beurden says $80 oil is not "unreasonable" and could benefit the market in the long run.
"I think we need to have slightly elevated prices, to bring new supply on, which is going to be the main challenge," van Beurden said in an interview with CNBC's Brian Sullivan.
"We should be able to balance the market at that sort of oil price level, but of course bringing on new production is not a short-term event," he said. "It takes years to bring on new production."
Energy companies sharply pulled back capital spending in recent years during a prolonged oil price downturn. The lack of investment has raised concerns about supply shortfalls that will lead to another cycle of boom and bust for oil prices.