Industry at a glance ///

Crude oil prices trended upwards as 2012 came to a close, and cold temperatures stimulated demand. West Texas Intermediate climbed into the mid-$90 range, while Brent Blend crossed the $110 threshold. Oil production outside of OPEC rose to over 54 million bpd, while OPEC output sagged to its lowest level of the year, 30.65 million bpd, with Saudi Arabia and Iraq leading the way. The U.S. rotary rig count fell to under 1,800 rigs running, though it should be pointed out that the drop is not necessarily reflective of decreased activity, but rather the increased tendency towards longer lateral drilling. Worldwide, the rig count held steady at over 1,600.

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