Oil industry leaders have dismissed talk of the price of crude hitting the USD 20 lows predicted by analysts, who warned that believing that "oil prices will be with us forever may not be the right way of thinking."
Goldman Sachs stirred energy investors last month when its head of commodity research warned of rising risks of oil prices falling as low as USD 20 per barrel, in a message that was reiterated on Tuesday.
"The risk of USD 20 is driven by what we call a breach in storage capacity, meaning that you have supply above demand, you fill every storage tank on planet earth and then you have nowhere to put it," Jeff Currie, head of commodity research at Goldman told CNBC from the annual Oil & Money conference in London.
"(Then) supply has to come down in line with demand. The only way you get that correction is prices crash down to cash costs, which for a US producer, is somewhere around USD 20 a barrel."
However, Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), told CNBC on Tuesday that low prices would prompt US producers to cut output, creating upward price pressure.
"When we look at the next few quarters, we expect US oil production to decline because of low oil prices and in Iraq, production growth will be much slower than in the past. And the demand is creeping up," Birol told CNBC on Tuesday from the Oil & Money conference.
"So therefore, to think that oil prices will be with us forever may not be the right way of thinking."