This is how you check countries like Russia and other petro-dictatorships. When oil prices are high, Russia can afford to engage in foreign adventurism, when they’re low, they can’t. And for all you people who think Putin supports Trump, Trump supports fracking, Hillary opposes it. Hillary’s policies would enable Russia and Iran. That should put questions about who Putin supports in to a proper perspective.
The US could be considered to one of those “Petro-dictatorships” once you account for the influence it gets from the use of the Petro Dollar. If the Petro Dollar is ever done away with then American domination of global affairs will wane. All those dollars currently getting reinvested and floating the national debt will have nowhere to go.
As a member of the Evil Oil Empire, I can also add the all those petrodollars support pension funds through stock market investment, universities (especially in Texas), and investors.
Technology gains in unconventional oil production has made amazing progress. West Texas unconventional oil can be successfully produced ($$$) at $40 per barrel. A year or so ago, the break even was at $80 to $100 per barrel. That’s one reason inventories are not dropping enough to support higher oil prices.
Oh, fyi, unconventional oil production includes hydraulic fracturing, CO2 flooding, and other technologies in older fields, like the Permian Basin in west Texas.
Good for the consumer, not so good for energy stocks, dividends, employment, etc. although recently a price of $50 seemed to have stabilized the markets for the time being. Past year we’ve been in the $40 to $60 a barrel range.