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Oil prices were mixed in January, with a generally weak economy and uncertainty in Europe offset by an improving economic outlook in the U.S. This, combined with tensions in Iran, kept global prices rising. Arabian Light rose to average almost $114/bbl, and West Texas Intermediate settled above $100/bbl. In sharp contrast, natural gas prices in the U.S. fell yet again to an abysmal $2.51/Mcf, reflecting an abnormally warm winter in the states. Gas production fell slightly but remained robust. The international rotary rig count continued to rise in January, while the U.S. count stayed strong at just over 2,000 rigs running.
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