This Week’s Market Buzz

• At press time, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down $1.77, or 3.3 percent, at $52.24 a barrel. International Brent crude oil futures fell $1.54 a barrel, or 2.5 percent, to $61.15.

• Oil prices appear to have stabilized in early 2019 following a dramatic slide between October and December 2018 and U.S. operators are showing little sign of reducing drilling programs in the short term, according to Westwood Global Energy Group. In a $60/bbl WTI oil price scenario, drilling will increase 8 percent to more than 20,000 wells this year, according to Westwood’s new U.S. Drilling and Completion Q4 2018 Outlook.

• The North America proppants market is expected to register a compound annual growth rate of 6.92 percent by volume during the forecast period 2018-2023, according to a new report by The market demand for proppants is likely to be driven by growing industrialization and an increased need for energy, which has led to improvements in hydraulic fracturing technologies, followed by commercial extraction of unconventional gases, which has further resulted in significant growth in the demand for proppants. Frac sand is estimated to account to about 95 percent of the total proppant usage in North America, owing to its efficiency, low cost and easily availability.

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