(NY Times) The oil industry, with its history of booms and busts, is in its deepest downturn since the 1990s, if not earlier.
Earnings are down for companies that have made record profits in recent years, leading them to decommission nearly two-thirds of their rigs and sharply cut investments in exploration and production. More than 200,000 oil workers have lost their jobs, and manufacturing of drilling and production equipment has fallen sharply.
The cause is the plunging price of a barrel of oil, which has been cut roughly in half since June 2014.
Prices have recovered a few times this year, but executives think it will be years before oil returns to $90 or $100 a barrel, pretty much the norm over the last decade.
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