Benchmark crude oil prices have barely moved for more than two months, implying the market has found a temporary equilibrium after the enormous price shock in the second half of 2014 and early 2015.
Over the past 30 trading days, the range between the highest and lowest closing prices for front-month Brent futures has been just $4.50 per barrel. The highest close for the front-month futures contract was at $66.54 per barrel (May 21) and the lowest was $62.01 (June 29).
The trading range is the smallest since the shock began in June 2014 and down from a peak of almost $40 per barrel in early January 2015.
The price stabilization implies the market believes $60-$65 per barrel will gradually bring supply and demand back into balance, which seems sensible.
The low variability in prices is also helping to anchor short- and medium-term expectations for producers and consumers at around the current level.
Expectations are not always correct, but price convergence within a fairly narrow range makes it easier for producers and consumers to formulate budgets for the rest of 2015 and 2016.
Volatility is a subtle concept that has rather different meanings for different people in oil and other commodity markets.
For traders, investors and hedgers, "volatility" has a precise definition as the standard deviation of price moves over a given number of days and expressed at an annualized rate.
For commodity producers and consumers, however, volatility is not about daily price movements but ranges over a period of time.
Markets can be volatile but range-bound if there are many big daily price movements that cancel one another out.
The huge price shifts in the second half of 2014 and the first three months of 2015 made detailed planning almost impossible for oil producers (and, to a lesser extent, consumers). The only safe assumptions about oil and fuel prices were the most conservative ones.
But the recent stabilization of prices at $60-$65 per barrel makes it far easier to produce some planning assumptions with appropriate scenarios around that level.
Producers and consumers will therefore probably end up employing a baseline forecast of around $60-$65 for the rest of 2015 and into 2016, with a low-price scenario of $50 and a high one of $75, which is good enough for most planning purposes.
John Kemp is a Reuters analyst.