The price of a barrel of oil is up over $70 a barrel with experts saying that price is likely to continue to rise due to a number of factors.

“Whether it is 100 (a barrel) or not remains to be seen but there are some people taking positions that are out there in that price range and there are analysts expecting prices to get much higher because the market is going to get much tighter,” said LSU Center for Energy Studies Director David Dismukes. He said excess supply is getting burned off while demand has begun to rise as the economy reopens, making experts bullish on the price.

Last year, during the pandemic’s trough, futures prices hit negative numbers as demand cratered amid oversupply from OPEC and Russia.

But, Dismukes does not expect this surge in prices to result in some new influx of investment or jobs for the Louisiana oil economy due to climate policies like net neutrality by 2050 and the moratorium on new lease sales in the Gulf.

Joe Raedle, Getty Images

“It is a pretty tough environment for oil and gas companies despite the fact that prices are pretty high," said Dismukes. "If you had said that 12 or 15 months ago you’d have scratched your head and said, why?”

Dismukes adds that the industry is also financially hampered due to the high levels of debt currently held by many companies.

(Story written by Brooke Thorington/Louisiana Radio Network)

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