At year-end 2016, as this article was being written, the exploration and pro­duction industry was showing signs of recovery after a prolonged period of pressure and uncertainty.

Although a number of E&P companies are highly leveraged, and Chapter 11 filings are still a concern, history shows that commodity prices can recover as quickly as they fall. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude hovered at around $50 per barrel in late October—nearly double February’s lows. OPEC members and other countries are starting to commit to pro­duction cuts that would further bolster prices.

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