Industry at a glance ///

Despite continued worldwide oversupply of crude oil, prices improved on global markets in April and May. Slowing production of U.S. shale oil pushed West Texas Intermediate prices past $60/bbl, while Brent Blend rose more moderately into the $65/bbl range. Opec crude output rose again in April, to 31.22 MMbpd, the highest level since September 2012. On the demand side, a better economic outlook for Europe was offset mostly by expectations of reduced demand in Russia and the FSU, as well as Latin America. The U.S. rotary rig count fell to an average 889 for May, while international counts dropped less precipitously to 1,289. Natural gas prices increased slightly in May, to about $2.80/MMBtu.

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