The current stability is relatively rare for the oil market, which is prone to rampant volatility for numerous reasons. When the market eventually breaks out, it could do so aggressively.
Independent producers are struggling to hit output targets at current price levels while the majors are focusing on becoming more efficient.
Even though the fortunes of the shale industry have suddenly reversed course, it is not clear that drilling will abruptly take a hit.
Small independent shale producers are dealing with a the possibility of another oil price plunge with aggressive hedging, a development that should allow output to grow.
A large stock build in the first quarter, rampant producer hedging, and large amount of investor inflows in the futures market created an “unbalancing of the market,” the opposite of OPEC’s stated goal, according to one prominent oil market analyst.
The intense levels of collusion on a global scale between politicians of producer states, OPEC representatives, and even traders are a clear reminder that the cartel's operations undermine a fair, free, and transparent oil market. OPEC argues that its decision last week was in the interests of price stability, but others see the exact opposite.
With prices having rallied and with expectations for a stronger market next year, will drilled but uncompleted wells (DUCs) be able to stabilize U.S. shale output or bring about another wave of supply online?
Cheap debt—the instrument that enabled the tight oil boom to take place to begin with—is now its greatest vulnerability. An expert panel discussed the various financial instruments being used to manage and restructure the long shadow of debt over the industry.
At the Independent Petroleum Association of America's investment symposium, a small number of well-positioned companies are explain how they have survived the price downturn, and express significant optimism for what's to come.
Mexico is already hurting from low oil prices. The government's recent move to lock in a $49 price hedge for 2016 reflects high levels of desperation and uncertainty.