Crude prices are under US$60 and falling as Saudi Arabia’s defiance against production cuts continues to roil the market.
Benchmark oil prices have slumped below US$60 a barrel in New York for the first time since July 2009.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude slid 1.6 percent.
Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said the market will correct itself, Bloomberg reported Friday.
Global demand for crude from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) drop next year by about 300,000 barrels a day to 28.9 million, the least since 2003.
Oil’s collapse into a bear market has been exacerbated as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait, OPEC’s three largest members, offered the deepest discounts on exports to Asian at least six years.
The group decided against reducing its output quota at a meeting last month, letting prices drop to a level that may slow US production that has surged to the highest level in more than three decades.
“The path of least resistance is lower,” Mike Wittner, head of oil research at Societe Generale S.A. in New York, said by phone.
WTI for January delivery dropped 99 cents to close at US$59.95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
It was the lowest settlement since July 14, 2009. Total volume was 14 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day. The US benchmark is down 39 percent this year.
Brent for January settlement declined 56 cents to end the session at US$63.68 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. It was the lowest close since July 16, 2009. Volume was 1.3 percent higher than the 100-day average.
The North Sea crude closed at a US$3.73 premium to WTI. Prices are down 43 percent in 2014.
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