"NEW YORK — The world oil market has set up quite nicely for OPEC. Dramatic changes in oil production around the globe are balancing each other out instead of wreaking havoc. This has helped world oil prices stay high enough to provide OPEC countries with robust income, but not so high that they scare customers away from buying more of their precious product.
Brent crude, the most important international oil benchmark, has hovered in the range of $110 per barrel over much of the last 4 years, with remarkably low volatility for oil markets. That has also led to stable gasoline prices for U.S. drivers, who have been paying in the neighborhood of $3.50 per gallon over the period."