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Stress tested

North America's oil and gas sector suffered in 2016, but survived its trial of strength

Canada's oil sands projects. The uptick in prices in the second half of 2016 tested their ability to bounce back. The first Lower 48 liquefied natural gas plant started shipping and the US lifted oil-export restrictions, scoping out global markets' appetite for American energy. Corporate deal-making picked up. In 2016, the industry showed remarkable flexibility; it was quick to take drastic, and often painful, action to survive. Budgets were down by around 80% in 2016, from 2014. Companies sacked tens of thousands of workers and drilled about a third of the wells they drilled during the boom. They harried services firms into lower rates and squeezed more oil and gas out of each well. In 20

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