Industry at a glance

The world crude price collapse that started in December 2014 continued into the new year, with both Brent Blend and West Texas Intermediate crude falling below $50/bbl. A brief rally at the end of January was stopped cold, when inventories were reported as higher than expected. Worldwide demand is stifled by general economic weakness outside North America. OPEC production rose to 30.48 MMbpd at year’s end, as Iraqi supplies exceeded 3.7 MMbpd, and the threat of disruptions diminished. The U.S. rotary rig count dropped sharply in January to below 1,700, while International rigs fell to similar levels. In the meantime, U.S. gasoline prices around $2/gal have led to a strong surge in seasonal demand.

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