NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Falling oil prices have put many companies under duress. But that hasn't stopped management teams from focusing on the long-term and scouring for opportunities.
Specifically, Bill Maloney, head of U.S. development and production for Statoil (STO) , is looking at the Gulf of Mexico.
Speaking at the IHS Energy CERAWeek conference in Houston, Maloney says there is potential in the Gulf, particular on the Mexican side since there have been fewer wells drilled compared to the American side.
He expects the area to be "big and profitable" both now and in the future. Currently the company produces roughly 40,000 barrels per day in the region, but expects that figure to climb to 100,000 barrels per day by the end of the decade.
Of course, there's uncertainty surrounding the Gulf, which comes in the form of joint operations and terms of agreements, among other criteria. But Maloney is confident the company can get through those issues and work with the government to meet certain requirements.
"We're cautiously optimistic," he added.
As far as U.S. operations go, Maloney says Statoil cut its onshore capital expenditures budget, as the price of crude oil has dropped so much. As a result, the company has cut the number of oil rigs in use.
However, the company's overall CapEx budget has fallen less than many of its peers, dropping from just over $20 billion to $18 billion for 2015.
Based on global fundamentals, it only seems likely for oil prices to trade at a higher level, he said. But when that rally will come and how high it will go is incredibly difficult to predict.
According to Maloney, the general consensus from those at the IHS Energy conference is that oil prices will most likely stabilize between $60 and $80 per barrel.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.