Oil Remains in Spotlight as OPEC Plays Tough

Oil prices continued their dramatic slump to near-six-year lows on Tuesday, as an oil minister from OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) reiterated that the group would not be changing its production strategy.

WTI crude for February delivery fell below $45 a barrel on Tuesday morning for the first time since April 2009 and was trading at $44.87 a barrel at 2.00 p.m. GMT. Brent crude futures lost around 3 percent in the morning session and were trading at $45.94 a barrel. Both have crashed by around 60 percent since mid-June last year.

Weak global demand and booming U.S. shale oil production are seen as two key reasons behind the price plunge, as well as OPEC’s reluctance to cut its output.  This latter factor compounded oil’s fall further on Tuesday, following a speech by United Arab Emirates Oil Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi.


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