The price of crude oil is once again hitting fresh lows. After its stunning decline from over $100 a barrel to below $50 in the spring of 2015, many had hoped the worst of the oil collapse was over. In fact, the summer months brought with it a rebound in the price of oil, rising above $65 a barrel. With the resumed uncertainty in Europe surrounding Greece and the sudden bear market gripping China, the price of oil has once again slid under $50. While low oil prices may be welcomed by drivers at the gas pump, many oil companies are feeling the pain. The shale oil boom in the United States is predicated on the market price of oil remaining higher than its cost of production. But because shale oil is a particularly difficult and expensive method of oil extraction, persistent low oil prices means that they will continue to operate at a marginal loss, ultimately leading to bankruptcy.
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