Many oil companies had trimmed their budgets heading into 2015 to deal with lower oil prices. But the rebound in April and May to $60 per barrel from the mid-$40s suggested that the severe drop was merely temporary.
U.S. shale oil producers, having weathered the worst price plunge in their industry's brief history, now face a dilemma: whether to stay in a defensive crouch after slashing their rig fleets, or start drilling more wells to capture a partial recovery in prices.
China's appetite for crude oil is expected to pick up later this year as storage comes online and new buyers emerge, even after its inbound shipments surpassed United States imports last month for the first time, analysts and traders say.
With ample stores and cheap prices, natural gas-related equities have taken a beating and continue to be battered. While it is always difficult to call a bottom, the tide may be turning for natural gas companies despite the latest data.