US oil explorers are expected to report a combined loss of about $14 billion for the year 2015, as a result of the sharpest oil price slump in a generation. Bankruptcies and disappointing debt exchanges have led the oil explorers to cut thousands of staffs, trim dividends, and abandon drilling projects to preserve capital and resist insolvency.
Asian share markets crept higher on Tuesday as Tokyo scored another 15-year peak, though gains were hostage to what Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen might say later in the day about the likely lift-off date for U.S. rate hikes.
The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States fell 13.3 cents in the past two weeks, falling to its lowest level since late April 2009, but the end of a months-long slide may be near, according to the Lundberg survey released Sunday.
Crude oil prices pared early losses but still settled lower on Thursday after a government report showed the biggest build in U.S. crude inventory in at least 14 years.
Oil fell 5 percent to its lowest in nearly six years on Monday, extending the second-deepest rout on record, after Goldman Sachs warned that prices would fall further and Gulf oil producers showed no sign of cutting output.
Arab OPEC producers expect global oil prices to rebound to between $70 and $80 a barrel by the end of next year as a global economic recovery revives demand, OPEC delegates said this week in the first indication of where the group expects oil markets to stabilize in the medium term.
World markets are ending their last full week of 2014 on a high, as Wall Street made its biggest two-day advance since late 2011 and European shares headed for their strongest week of the year.
There is no need to panic at the recent drop in oil prices, the secretary general of OPEC said on Wednesday, saying low prices would curb competing supplies and require the group to pump far more by the end of the decade.
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