As the price of oil seemingly began to stabilize for now near $60 a barrel, the U.S. oil rig count slowed its pace of decline down to a crawl. The number of U.S. oil rigs is now at 659, according to Baker Hughes data, after dropping by eight oil rigs a week prior.
A rebound in oil prices that bottomed near $44 a barrel in March has provided some relief to stronger companies that have been able to compensate with cost cuts and more efficient operations. For many smaller, cash-strapped producers, current prices of almost $60 still aren’t enough to make ends meet compared to the $100-plus prices seen during the boom days.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed cutting the amount of renewable fuels that petroleum producers would be required to blend into gasoline and diesel next year, the first time the agency has lowered its annual target.
The Tennessee Valley Authority said it will cut its use of coal-fired electrical generation by about half of current levels, shuttering some units and converting others to burn natural gas to meet tighter emission-control regulations.
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