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Fears of slowing growth in China, coupled with economic instability in the euro zone, kept oil prices falling in May. Crude prices were down as much as 20% from their 12-month highs, with Brent Blend and Saudi Light staying in lock-step at around $110/bbl. Global oil inventories continued to rise moderately, with increases in the U.S. and Canada more than making up for steady production declines in the North Sea. The rotary rig count in the U.S. stayed virtually flat at around 1,977 units running, but remained about 8% above year-ago levels. Offshore, the utilization rate worldwide hovers above 80% of available rigs.
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