I have been fighting oil price volatility for the entire 40 years I have been an oil producer in America. I am plum wore out.
On the right... I have OPEC, by far my biggest nemesis over the years. Those fellas have just about broke my ass numerous times, particularly in 1986 when some of my heavy, sweet oil sold for $9.00 a barrel. I don't know why they do what they do, what their reserves are or if they are telling the truth about spare capacity. Its their oil, however, and I can't control OPEC. I have reached a certain level of acceptance with OPEC.
Now, on the left... I have the United State shale oil industry; over the past 5 years I've learned to mistrust it as much as OPEC. Its reserve estimates are just as phony, in my opinion. They are fiscally irresponsible and can't make any profit. The price of oil is secondary to how much low interest money they can borrow to stay afloat and the public and private shale oil industry has almost as much long term debt as the national debts of Russia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia combined . Debt has now become synonymous with "free enterprise" and economic growth in America and that is not good.
So, I find myself constantly rooting for the entire rest of the world, including OPEC and Russia, to cut production, raise and stabilize oil prices while the mighty shale oil industry, in my own damn country, does exactly the opposite.
And if OPEC and US LTO weren't enough, the President raised my pipe and steel costs 30% and insists on the price of oil being as low as possible. He Tweets, makes vial threats with "leverage" he does not have ( with here-today-gone tomorrow shale oil?!!) and does not care what price is good for America in the long haul. The biggest producer in the Midland Basin says it can make money at $22 per barrel (a big 'ol whopper!)... so the Prez thinks the entire oil industry can also.
The bottom line is I never know from one month to the next what the price of my oil will be. My prices fell 35% recently, in just 5 weeks. Try making a budget, keeping employees employed, paying service providers and suppliers in full, in less than 30 day terms, and giving out well-earned Christmas bonuses facing that sort of shit.
Thousands of stripper well operators in America (80% of ALL wells in the US now make less than 15 BOPD!) and the entire Gulf of Mexico oil industry are in the same boat as I am. We don't know whether we're coming or going anymore.
'Clowns to the left of me
Jokers to the right
Here I am stuck in the middle with you...'