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Oil prices become less volatile

Booming domestic crude oil production and improved infrastructure have led to increased stability in the price of oil, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
by Adam Wilmoth Modified: January 10, 2014 at 8:00 pm •  Published: January 9, 2014
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Booming domestic crude oil production and improved infrastructure have led to increased stability in the price of oil, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

U.S. oil producers recovered 1 million barrels of oil per day more in 2013 than they did in 2012. The jump is more than the combined increase of the rest of the world and marks the largest observed annual increase in U.S. history, the EIA said.

Domestic production finished the year at its highest level in 24 years.

Besides increased production, the country also has seen a rapid increase in infrastructure to move the oil throughout the country.

New pipelines, rail cars, trucks and other methods have popped up to help reduce bottlenecks and get oil to market more efficiently.

As a result, crude oil prices have leveled off.

The new trend follows a decades-long pattern of rapid price swings.

Prices are relatively high, but they have become much more stable.

West Texas Intermediate crude spot prices, which are priced in Cushing, averaged $98 a barrel in 2013, up 4 percent from 2012 and the highest annual average since 2008.

North Sea Brent spot prices averaged $109 a barrel in 2013, down 3 percent from 2012.

Gasoline prices tend to follow close behind crude oil prices. Like with oil, the average annual price of gasoline has stabilized over the past three years.

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by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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