U.S. crude production rises in longest run of gains since 2012 Crude-price decline drags shares of energy companies lower Oil slid below $45 a barrel for the first time since OPEC agreed to cut output in November as U.S. shale confounds the producer group’s attempts to prop up prices. In less than 10 minutes on Friday, U.S. futures slumped more than $1 amid a surge in volume. They have collapsed 8.6 percent this week, erasing all gains since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries signed a six-month deal in November to curb production and ease a global glut. The decline is being driven by expanding U.S. output, which threatens to blunt the cuts even as OPEC and Russia move toward extending them into the second half. Note: Chart shows Hong Kong time While OPEC’s curbs drove oil in early January to the highest since July 2015, that increase encouraged […]