Lower crude values are offset to some degree by better refining margins and cheaper feedstocks for specialty and industrial chemicals. Overall company profits can be suppressed somewhat, but some segments perform better when crude prices are lower. Projections include low and high price scenarios, and cyclical markets (related to capacity vs. demand) are the norm for many facets of the petroleum business. OPEC influences crude prices (albeit weakly) through production control, while market players and others may manipulate the price through trading schemes and political maneuvers. Right or wrong (wrong, I say), these can buffer price changes or redirect trends, pretty much negating the rule of supply and demand. Worldwide production vs. consumption has been tight for quite a while (and will remain so) and should dictate a stable price, but geopolitical events and financial power brokering are the real directors. In the midst of this, oil majors are buoyant and will generally do just fine by adjusting capital expenditures (do less exploring and building) and other flexible spending if crude prices stay depressed for long (which they will not). BTW, $70 is still a rather high price in historic terms (even adjusted for inflation). $50 or above has only persisted since 2005, and was rarely exceeded prior to that. Regards.