West Texas ‘hunkers down’ as shale oil boom goes bust

With oil prices falling by more than 50 percent since June 2014, the gleeful mood of recent years has turned glum in the West Texas oil patch as the frenzy of shale drilling has come to a halt, reports the New York Times. The newspaper says oil companies are decommissioning drilling rigs and announcing layoffs, and small companies that lease equipment have fallen behind on their payments. But the Times notes that West Texas is accustomed to the boom-and-bust nature of the oil business, with a jewelry store owner telling the paper, “We are always prepared for slowdowns. We just hunker down.” For more, read the full story.