A pumpjack brings oil to the surface in the Monterey Shale, California, U.S. April 29, 2013. Photo: Reuters, Lucy Nicholson

Oil prices edged lower on Monday, with some analysts saying it could drop into the US$30s before selling stops. WTI crude futures are 20% off their January high.

But the Wall Street Journal writes this week that the oil industry is coming to terms with a new equilibrium after an extension of OPEC cuts failed to hold prices up.

US shale producers have led the way adapting to prices in the ballpark of US$50 a barrel, where they say they can break even, according to oil-and-gas data firm Rystad Energy. Several companies can reportedly make money at US$40 a barrel.

Some have even welcome the new normal price range.

“For oil, $50 to $60 is a sweet spot both for consumers and for producers,” Rob Thummel, energy asset manager at Tortoise Capital Advisors, was quoted by the WSJ as saying.

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