Crude oil prices continued to weaken on speculation of a revival in U.S. shale production that has undermined the support from production cuts out of OPEC and other major exporters.

While OPEC is cutting back to alleviate price pressures, U.S. fracking companies could jump to capitalize on the windfall as crude oil prices jump back above $50 per barrel – according to some estimates, shale oil producers can get by with oil at just over $50 per barrel due to advancements in technology and drilling techniques that have helped cut down costs.

Rig counts have recently ticked higher and with credit and earnings issues improving for some U.S. shale drillers, those companies may seize the opportunity to exploit higher pricing in the near-term. Some traders are not convinced and caution about betting on an energy sector rebound.

“Pessimism on both oil and gas is apparent in futures markets and also weighs on investor sentiment. West Texas Intermediate crude is seen holding below $50 a barrel into 2020, based on futures prices. Similarly, gas prices are expected to stay around $3 for the next few years,” according to Barron’s.

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