Industry at a glance ///

The announcement of direct talks between the U.S. and Iran, along with Syria’s agreement to dispose of its chemical weapons, led to a general drop in oil prices last month. This downward pressure was increased by the U.S. government shutdown. Opec crude output dropped again, slipping below 30 million bpd for the first time in two years, this despite strong Saudi output, which continues apace. U.S. oil production rose again last month to just under 7.8 million bpd. Natural gas production, likewise, climbed in the U.S., despite sagging wellhead prices. Internationally, the rotary rig count gained 3%, but it fell in the U.S. to 1,760.

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