From the offset, few respondents thought that we’d see $100 per barrel of oil by the end of 2015. Only 12.2 of those responding in March selected “less than one year,” and by the end of June, that portion dropped to a mere 4.1 percent.
In March, half of respondents thought $100 per barrel oil would return within one to two years; however, after a slight uptick in April, the portion of those responding with that estimate in June fell to just less than one-third, a 19-point drop to 32.2 percent.
Over the course of the four-month period, the portion of respondents who selected “two to three years” steadily increased by 9.5 points from a quarter of respondents in March to over one-third of responses in June.
Long-term responses also increased significantly. The portion of respondents who answered “three to four years” increased by 6 points and “four to five years” increased by 5 points. No one in March responded that the oil prices would remain below $100 for more than five years, but 6.6 of respondents in June did.
So, what’s the takeaway?
Whereas at the beginning of the polling period there was a clear majority opinion, by the end of June, there was less of a consensus in the Houston business community about how long the slump will last, and significantly more people now believe it’s a longer road than they originally thought.