Amid falling oil prices mostly due to fears of oversupply and a surging U.S. dollar, American business magnate and financier T. Boone Pickens said Tuesday that oil prices could reach $100 a barrel by the end of next year.
The 86-year-old billionaire, who chairs the hedge fund BP Capital Management, also revised his previous forecast in which he said that the prices would hit the $100 mark as early as this year. According to Pickens, the idea of “peak oil” -- when oil production goes into an irreversible decline -- should not be ignored as regions other than the U.S. are experiencing decline in their oil output, Reuters reported.
“I think you could very well be at $100 a barrel by the end of 2016,” Pickens said at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco.
Although oil prices briefly recovered in February after a 60 percent drop since highs last summer, U.S. crude dropped to less than $43 a barrel last week to as low as $42.85 for the first time since 2009.
Oil prices have tumbled sharply partly due to weaker Asian and European demand and an increase in North American production. On Tuesday, U.S. crude futures were at nearly $47.40 a barrel.
A global oversupply of oil is set to rise as China slows crude imports. In the most recent month, crude imports in key Asian markets like India and Japan were also down 20 percent and 11 percent from a year ago, respectively, Reuters reported.
"Asia-Pacific oil ... balances remain in surplus with pressure peaking in April/May from rising crude stocks," PIRA Energy, a U.S.-based consultancy firm, said in a research note, obtained by Reuters.