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The US oil fracker's dilemma: crouch or pounce?

US oil rig count, after being sliced by more than half since November, appears to have nearly bottomed out

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Today, about 100 public firms and many more private ones are shaping the North American shale industry, raising the risk that hundreds of rigs might quickly reenter service.

Houston

US SHALE oil producers, having weathered the worst price plunge in their industry's brief history, now face a dilemma: whether to stay in a defensive crouch after slashing their rig fleets, or start drilling more wells to capture a partial recovery in prices.

In a way, the

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