Reaching levels not seen since July 2012, Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, plunged below $100 per barrel. The $100 level is where OPEC has publicly stated it would like the price to remain, so its members might have to curtail production if it wishes for the supply and demand dynamic to maintain that price.
Here in the United States, oil producers are watching the price very closely as many need oil to stay above $80-$90 per barrel to remain profitable. If prices fall any further we could see the crude oil market suffer the same fate as natural gas did in 2012, when producers cut back noticeably. If this happens, equipment and service companies more reliant than their peers on North America could suffer.
Joel South has no position in any stocks mentioned. Taylor Muckerman owns shares of Halliburton. The Motley Fool recommends Halliburton. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.