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WTI Crude Oil Price Today Down on Middle East Conflict News

The WTI crude oil price today fell as tensions come to a head between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The conflict between the two OPEC members sparked worry among oil investors as many sold their positions to prepare for unpredictability in the region.

And there are three matters you'll want to watch as these events pressure the oil market for the foreseeable future...


Why WTI Crude Oil Prices Fell Nearly 4% Today

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices fell today after the EIA reported a weekly increase in domestic oil supply.

Despite supply being at an 80-year high, there has been a clear contraction in U.S. oil operations.

Here's how this phenomenon is priming U.S. producers for a great year in 2016...


[CHART] How Many Oil Jobs Were Lost in 2015?

It's not yet clear exactly how many oil jobs were lost in 2015, but many estimate the number surpassed 200,000.

That's a huge hit considering roughly 600,000 people worked in the energy sector earlier this year.

This chart shows which companies are responsible for the massive number of job cuts...


WTI Crude Oil Prices Fall Today to 39% Drop in 2015

WTI crude oil prices today fell in early morning trading as the commodity closes out its worst year since 2008.

Many pundits blame the recent repeal of the oil export ban for today's drop in prices.

But there are a few reasons why boosting oil exports would actually lift prices over the long term...


Why Is the South China Sea Important?

Why is the South China Sea important? At first look, the island group seems uninhabitable and worthless – but this observation would be grossly in error.

These islands sit on the edge of the most lucrative fishing area in the South China Sea. They are also on the edge of one of the most oil- and gas-rich areas yet discovered.

And the Spratlys are claimed by no less than six different countries.

"This is definitely a situation you want to watch closely," Money Morning Executive Editor Bill Patalon told readers on Dec. 8. "Any kind of a major 'incident' there will clearly have a big – and negative – impact on the world financial markets."

Here's a look at the irresistible treasures that make ownership of the South China Sea crucial...


This Crude Oil Price Chart Shows Every Crash Since 1985

The past 18 months have delivered one of the worst oil price crashes in history.

After all, WTI crude oil prices have plunged 67.4% since June 2014.

But this crude oil price chart shows that it's only the second-largest bear market for oil in the last 30 years...


Why WTI Oil Prices Are Up Today

WTI oil prices edged higher today after they sank below $34 a barrel yesterday for the first time since 2009.

Prices rose today mainly because of the start of February futures contracts.

But there's another reason for today's boost that could have widespread implications for U.S. oil companies...


The Four Real Reasons Behind Lifting the U.S. Oil Export Ban

Late in last week's congressional budget negotiations, a provision that would allow for the export of domestically produced crude oil was introduced.

The agreement also has broad-based bipartisan support and allows the president to reintroduce an oil export ban on national security grounds.

Make no mistake, this is not simply some campaign-season political machination to score brownie points with some voters.

There are four very real reasons behind the end of the export ban. And some of them may surprise you...


WTI Crude Oil Prices Today Put Weekly Losses at 3.1%

WTI crude oil prices today were down 1.3% as the U.S. benchmark finishes out its third straight weekly loss thanks to oversupply concerns and an interest rate hike.

But today's fall is only a knee-jerk reaction.

Here's what will really affect prices in 2016...


How the Royal Dutch Shell Stock Price Will Perform in 2016

The Royal Dutch Shell stock price is hovering at a five-year low of $43.72 this morning (Thursday) as the oil giant fights the federal government over drilling rights in the Arctic.

But there's one reason why the Royal Dutch Shell stock price will rebound in 2016...