Since the start of 2016, oil prices have swung between $27 and $42 per barrel, about a quarter of the 2008 peak crude oil price of $145. On February 16, oil ministers from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar, and Venezuela agreed to a tentative deal to freeze their production in an attempt to boost prices. This was a characteristic move. For decades, this is how the oil business has worked. Producers carefully control production to try to match supply to demand. But there’s a lag between these decisions and their effects, creating the boom and bust cycles so typical in the business.
"What Low Oil Prices Really Mean" is from hbr.org, published on March 28, 2016