Oil is “at risk to geopolitical issues, threats of stability, and all that,” said Mayra Rodriguez Valladares, a risk management consultant to banks. Then there is China, which has been buying and stockpiling oil, although no one outside of the country knows for certain how what those moves will have on global price stability.
The U.S. has become the world’s largest oil producer, although the profitability depends greatly on global prices not dropping too low because of the economics of shale oil and fracking, an expensive process. “What worries me there is the whole fracking revolution, many of those deals were done with lots and lots of leverage,” Valladares said. A shift in pricing and many smaller companies could find themselves out of business, along with the people working for them.