As budgets collapse, U.S. drilling may shrink to a 17-year low

Who knew? After the rapid decline in crude oil prices from mid-2014, most analysts expected 2015 to be a year of recovery, when prices would creep back toward $70/bbl. In actuality, as a few of us feared all along, the oil price predicament has gone from bad to worse. A recent body blow to the upstream oil-and-gas industry has been the lifting of Western sanctions against Iran. The prospect of an additional 500,000 bopd entering the already saturated markets made oil traders drop the Brent and WTI price down below $30/bbl several times between mid-January and early February 2016.

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