Why oil prices could stay lower for longer

A worker pauses while drilling for oil on a derrick in the Bakken shale formation outside Watford City, North Dakota.
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The oil market is setting up for a prolonged period of low prices, unless there's a dramatic shift in strategy by producers.

Those producers range from Saudi Arabia and Iraq, to the upstart shale drillers of Texas and North Dakota whose surprising success initially set off a market share battle with the world's largest oil exporters.

"What you're seeing now is the price crisis some had expected last winter. Just a few weeks ago, confidence was coming back and people were saying, '$70 was the new $100.' Reality intruded," said Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of IHS.