This week a barrel slipped below 45 dollars, even though exporters have slashed production by nearly 1.8 Mmillion barrels a day. OPEC continues to believe prices will stabilize, once the cutbacks take full effect. But others have their doubts.
The fracking of hard-to-reach oil reserves has helped the US regain its crown as the world's top crude oil producer. But even the International Energy Agency (IEA) is now worried that the shale boom has been overhyped.
Two of the world's largest oil producers see a consensus emerging between OPEC and non-OPEC states for long-term cooperation on stabilizing oil prices, including the extension of output cuts expiring at the end of 2018.
OPEC will increase oil production in a move its main proponent, Saudi Arabia, said will lower global prices. Opponents said it was an opportunistic attempt to capitalize on problems in Riyadh rival, Iran.
Global oil prices fell after the US-led airstrikes in Syria at the weekend, having spiked last week on fears Middle East tensions might escalate. Eyes now turn to how Syria's key sponsors, Russia and Iran, react.
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