Energy companies begin to release their third-quarter earnings this week after a brutal second quarter of falling revenues, deep losses and thousands of layoffs. At the time, executives said, said those dismal reports represented that bottom of the worst industry downturn in 30 years.
The industry recovery so far has been driven by the rebound in crude prices, which sank to a low of $26 a barrel in February and recently broke above $50 a barrel. Throughout the quarter, prices hovered from $40 to $50 a barrel, hardly boom times but high enough for the most efficient companies to make some money.
More than 100 rigs have gone back into operation in U.S. oil and gas fields since May, when the rig count reached a low of about 400, according to the Houston oil services firm Baker Hughes.
So what does this mean for the third quarter? Jordan Blum talked with analysts who make their predictions at HoustonChronicle.com.