The past couple of years have been tough on the domestic energy industry. But a local executive says he's confident better days are ahead.

David Welch is CEO of Stone Energy in Lafayette. The Advertiser reports he predicted the oil & gas industry will rebound. Welch made his comments at Wednesday's quarterly meeting of the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association.

He says population growth will escalate energy demands, fueling a recovery in the industry. Welch didn't speculate on a timetable for the recovery.