Oil prices fall below $30 a barrel


Nigerian oil minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu (L) speaks during the UAE Energy Forum meeting in Abu Dhabi, on January 12, 2016 ©Marwan Naamani (AFP)
US crude prices fell below $30 a barrel for the first time in 12 years on Tuesday as OPEC member Nigeria called for an emergency meeting to address collapsing prices.
New York’s benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for February delivery fell to $29.93 a barrel, a level last seen in December 2003.
Prices pulled back slightly at the end of trade to end 97 cents lower at $30.44 a barrel.
In London prices plunged as well, with the benchmark Brent North Sea crude for February ending down 69 cents at $30.86 a barrel.
The continued plunge in prices, with some analysts now seeing a $20 price in sight, spurred more turmoil in exporters, many feeling a deep squeeze on revenues from the collapse of the market.
The Nigerian petroleum resources minister, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, declared that he expects an extraordinary meeting of the oil cartel in “early March” to discuss nosediving crude prices.
“We did say that if it hits the $35 (per barrel level), we will begin to look (at)… an extraordinary meeting,” Kachikwu said at the Gulf Intelligence UAE Energy Forum.
Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and foremost oil producer, has been ravaged by collapsing oil prices because crude accounts for 90 percent of the nation’s export earnings and 70 percent of overall government revenue.
Still, with Saudi Arabia and Gulf allies like the United Arab Emirates set on keeping prices down to run competitors — especially in the United States — out of the market, there remained doubts about whether the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries could act.
“Nigeria’s call for an early OPEC meeting would be a constructive factor if it were to lead to an actual meeting and shift in policy,” …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper