The U.S. probably is helpless to prevent another domestic oil production decline in 1991 despite the recent oil price runup and looming supply crisis. That will be the case even if oil prices remain at current levels and there is an all out effort to boost production in key producing states. The main reason is that an industry decimated by the ravages of the 1986 oil price collapse cannot muster the capital, equipment, and personnel within 6 months or 1 year to make a significant difference in U.S. oil production. Even if the wherewithal were available, however, operators stung by the 1986 price collapse remain generally...

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