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The last time crude fell this low was March 17, when it hit $43.36 per barrel, the price since the beginning oil’s slide all the way back in June 2014.
Beleaguered drillers wrote off $29 billion in the first quarter of the year alone, more than the 2014 full-year total of about $25 billion.
National Oilwell Varco and Cal Dive International, two oil field service companies based in Houston, are cutting a combined 276 jobs in Texas this month, state regulators said Monday.
Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said the fall legislative session will likely be bogged down with spending and debt ceiling debates, but there are legislative efforts in the works to expand natural gas exports and lift a ban on shipping crude oil overseas.
While the dive in crude oil prices from more than $100 in June 2014 to a little over $50 this month has meant the cheapest gasoline prices since 2009, consumer spending from that windfall hasn’t outpaced deep cuts to the oil and gas sector.
The drop last Monday of 7.7 percent or $4.40 — to $52.53 from $56.93 — was the largest single day-percentage loss since February, and as the financial crisis in Greece deepened, the Chinese stock market fell and the U.S. rig count stabilized.
The U.S. oil price’s recent fall to around $52 a barrel will rule out the possibility that oil companies will send 100 to 150 drilling rigs to U.S. oil fields this year – a bullish market expectation born out of two months of stable $60 oil, which ended late last week.
Stable $60 oil gave the U.S. energy sector a break from mass layoff announcements in May and June.
Sound Oil Plc, a Mediterranean producer one-500th the size of Eni SpA, will start exploring fields in Morocco and Italy toward the end of 2015 and early 2016, while Cairn Energy Plc and Savannah Petroleum Plc plan wells in West Africa.
The sea of oil drowning oil markets may be only half as deep as the International Energy Agency is estimating, according to analysts.