Industry at a glance ///

After OPEC agreed to its biggest production cut in a decade, oil prices rose to 18-month highs on Jan. 3, as reductions by Kuwait and Oman indicated that the organization was delivering on its promised cutbacks. Futures also climbed, with WTI (NYME) for February priced at $55.20 and Brent (EX) for March settling at $58.20. The pledge that OPEC and 22 other producers made to reduce production will help reduce global inventories, if North American shale producers can resist the temptation to put more rigs back to work. U.S. oil production in Nov. was 8.7 MMbpd, up slightly from the month-ago rate, but only 6% less than a year earlier despite record-low drilling activity in 2016. U.S. rigs working averaged 634 units in December, up 56% from the all-time low of 407 set in May 2016.

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