Italian oil firm Eni has warned oil could jump to $200 per barrel within the next decade if the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) fails to cut production.
Slumping oil prices are leading to under-investment in the oil industry, Claudio Descalzi, Eni's chief executive, said today at Davos.
He said mismanagement by OPEC could prompt longer-term shortages, causing oil prices to soar in several years' time.
"Opec is like the central bank for oil, which must give stability to the oil prices to be able to invest in a regular way," Descalzi said.
Today energy giants Total and BP announced they will cut back on shale oil projects, a sign that falling oil prices are being felt across the industry.
A global supply glut has caused oil prices to shed around 60 per cent since June last year, crashing below the significant $50 per barrel mark earlier this month.
The slide has been accelerated by OPEC's decision not to cut production in November, with Saudi Arabia arguing it would lead to a loss of market share to the United States' growing shale gas industry.