Legendary oil investor and magnate T. Boone Pickens has been on CNBC this morning making comments on the current oil environment and current pricing. As far as his prior call for "$10 off" he said, "I Think I made a mistake." Now he said he doesn’t think that will happen and he thinks oil will hang around $100 in Q2 and any US recession will be offset by global demand. Demand was off last week, but supply is still 85 million barrels per day and you can’t get supply up. Demand is up globally. Pickens also believes that maybe it’s off $5 or so, but he thinks the second half is oil above $100….
As far as natural gas, he said he’s pretty bullish there. The ratio used to be 7:1 for oil to natural gas and it’s currently above 8:1 even after the recent run, although he did note that he wouldn’t play a spread right now. Pickens also gave a level that if traditional spreads existed you would have roughly $14 natural gas today.
In the next 6-months he did note that oil could pull back, and he’s not sure how deep this recession can get in the U.S. But he also noted that he thinks it would have to be a serious global recession to affect the demand-side of the equation. Whether or not he was briefly bearish and looking for a pullback, Pickens apparently isn’t in the camp that oil is heading too far south or at least not in a major way. He believes that he won’t live to see $50 oil again.
Pickens is not just bullish on oil as he wants to get off the U.S. addiction to foreign oil and fossil fuels. His Clean Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE) provides natural gas as an alternative fuel for vehicle fleets via fuel stations, although these are not located nationwide yet. He has noted wind power and other renewable energy forms as alternatives to the US power generation that could allow natural gas to be used for vehicles.
Pickens will be on CNBC throughout parts of today, so his comments will probably keep coming across wires for several hours today.
Jon C. Ogg
March 25, 2008