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Fitch sees $50-$55 oil helping energy producers avoid bankruptcy

(Reuters) - Credit rating agency Fitch Ratings forecasts that U.S. oil prices will trade between $50 and $55 a barrel through 2018, which will ease the financial pressures that pushed dozens of energy producers into bankruptcy in recent years.

West Texas Intermediate traded at $49.61 a barrel on Friday, compared to early 2016 levels below $30, the bottom of a lengthy slide from over $100 in 2014.

That collapse roiled finances across the energy exploration and production (E&P) sector and pushed more than 100 oil and gas producers in North America into bankruptcy since the start of 2015, according the Haynes & Boone law firm.

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