In this week's news update, the EIA reports that US oil production has dropped for the first time in 5 years, and Aubrey McClendon died in a single-car accident yesterday.

Aubrey McClendon, a founder and former CEO of Chesapeake Energy, died in a single-car crash March 2, a day after he was charged with conspiring to rig bids to buy oil and natural gas leases in Oklahoma.

McClendon, 56, crashed into an embankment just after 9 a.m., while traveling at a high rate of speed, according to the Oklahoma City Police Department. Flames engulfed his vehicle immediate. Police determined he was not wearing a seatbelt.

“He pretty much drove straight into the wall,” Oklahoma City Police Captain Paco Balderrama said to CNBC.

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Police said McClendon was expected to turn himself into authorities at 11 a.m. on the indictment. The charges followed a nearly four-year federal antitrust probe that began after a 2012 Reuters investigation found that Chesapeake had discussed with a rival how to suppress land lease prices in Michigan during a shale-drilling boom. Although the Michigan case was closed, investigators uncovered evidence of alleged bid-rigging in Oklahoma.

EIA Reports US Oil Production Dropped in December, First Time in 5 Years
The U.S. Energy Information Administration announced on Feb. 29 that data shows the nation’s shale oil boom stalled in December, registering the first year-over-year drop in U.S. oil production in half a decade.

After showing double-digit increases in the days of $100 oil and hovering above an annual decline for the first year and a half of the downturn, U.S. crude production in December finally dropped 1.8 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

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The EIA’s report helped boost crude prices March 1 and reassured oil market analysts who believe U.S. oil production will fall between 600,000 and 1 million barrels a day this year. Many analysts believe that it could be enough to restore balance to the oversupplied global oil market and begin an oil price recovery.

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