NEW YORK (Reuters) - Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens said on Tuesday he has increased his long oil and natural gas position in recent weeks.
"It's not my personality to be short," said the billionaire who has made his fortune investing in the oil sector.
Oil prices are likely to be around $75 a barrel by the end of 2009 and $85 by the end of 2010, Pickens said, but added that an economic recovery could boost prices much higher.
"If you have a global recovery, then you could easily be $90 a barrel next year, you could be $100 a barrel," he said.
He also said that he sees the average price for natural gas next year at $7 per million British thermal units, up from about $5 currently.
The price ratio of U.S. crude oil futures to U.S. natural gas futures, which widened to a record high in September as oil prices rose, will likely narrow in the coming years, according to Pickens.
"It will be back (to) 10 to one, probably, in two, three years," Pickens said.
The passage of the U.S. climate legislation currently in consideration in the Senate is essential for keeping oil prices from rising exponentially over the next decade, he said.
Without a plan for U.S. energy independence, oil prices could soar to $300 a barrel in 10 years, Pickens said.
Pickens said that he believes the bill will come to a vote by the end of the year and that it will make President Obama's campaign goals of eliminating dependence on oil from the Midwest in 10 years achievable.
"If you do that, then you can cut out Mideast oil in 10 years," he said.
(Reporting by Rebekah Kebede and Rhonda Shaffler; Editing by Christian Wiessner)