Struggling oil producers could suffer even more pain in 2016 with further plunges in already record-low prices, BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley warned Saturday.
"A low point could be in the first quarter," Dudley told BBC radio.
Oil prices fell by 34 percent in 2015, battered by prolonged global oversupply and a slowdown in energy-hungry China's economy.
Dudley predicted that prices could stabilise towards the end of the year, but would remain low for the forseeable future.
"Prices are going to stay lower for longer, we have said it and I think we are in this for a couple of years. For sure, there is a boom-and-bust cycle here," Dudley said.
Prices have particularly slumped since December 4 when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries decided against limiting production as members fight to keep market share.
Potentially adding to the supply worries was action by the US Congress last month to end the 40-year-old ban on exports of crude oil produced in the country.