U.S. oil output may recover to its pre-pandemic peak of around 13 million barrels per day (bpd) in the next few years and likely plateau by 2023 due to underinvestment, John Hess, chief executive of oil producer Hess Corp said on Tuesday.
The Permian Basin of west Texas and New Mexico, the largest U.S. oilfield, will drive output growth in the coming years, Hess said at an energy conference, adding that other shale oil areas, like the Bakken in North Dakota, have hit a plateau.
Investment is the greatest challenge facing the oil and gas industry, he said. The comments echoed those made by other oil executives at the World Petroleum Congress in Houston who pointed to falling investment in fossil fuels as a driver of higher oil and gas prices.
Hess also expressed concern about a potential reinstatement of a ban on U.S. crude oil exports, an idea floated by lawmakers and members of the Biden administration in response to higher fuel prices. Such a policy would be ill conceived and hurt consumers, he said.