Oil companies hedge bets against a fall in prices

Bloomberg reports that oil producers are taking advantage of the rebound in crude markets to lock in protection against another slump in prices. Companies increased their bets on falling oil prices to the highest level in more than four years, the news service says, as U.S. inventories of stored oil remain near an 87-year high and a natural disaster in Canada and militant attacks in Africa curtailed oil output. Bloomberg says energy companies that include Chesapeake Energy Corp. used financial instruments such as futures, swaps and collars to guard against another fall in oil prices. For more, read the full story.