South African-born Stephen Larkin, is CEO of Africa New Energies, a small but highly innovative oil and gas exploration company focused on Namibia. With two oil and gas blocks, extending over an area of 5 million acres (the size of Wales) the company is employing the very latest proprietary sensing technology in its quest for new oil and gas. It also plans to supply gas to the nearby power grid to boost electricity supplies in this energy- hungry but underpopulated country.
The oil price has fallen from $110 in June 2014 to under $40 in Spring 2016, recovering to $52 in June before retreating to $43 a barrel currently. Asked about the prospects for oil prices, Larkin maintains that you have to look at long run trends rather than short-term oscillations. For example, the average price of a barrel of oil between 1861 and 2014 was $33 rising to an average $55 between 1973 and 2014 . Therefore, historically, a $100 a barrel is a rare occurrence. Larkin agrees with the prevailing view that the oil price, just like other commodities, is largely determined by supply and demand and inventory levels.