Managing a tricky balance

Now comes the hard part.The August contract price for light, sweet crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange exceeded $20/bbl at times last week. At midweek in London, dated Brent Blend sold for $18.50/bbl, Dubai crude for more than $17/bbl. Just a few months ago, these prices languished in the $10-12/bbl range.The quick rebound results from extraordinary cooperation among producers universally hurt by $10/bbl oil. Whether cooperation to limit production can survive $20/bbl oil, however, lies at the core of several questions now looming over a market not yet out of trouble.Growing temptationWhen it results from shared production restraint, a trend of rising price becomes difficult to sust...

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