Recovery on several levels

Go ahead, say it: The oil market is recovering. In the middle of last week, the futures price of light, sweet crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange was approaching $19/bbl. Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries seemed serious about their Mar. 23 agreement to trim production. Inventories were falling. For the oil and gas producing industry, these are welcome signs. But nobody wants to say it. Industry leaders act almost superstitiously reluctant to take public notice of recovery. They have reason to act that way. The painful slump just past caught them and everyone off-guard. No one expected oil demand to stall in Asia and Latin America, effecti...

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