Energy & Environment

Oil dips below $30 per barrel

The price of crude oil on Tuesday fell below $30 a barrel, its lowest price in more than 12 years.

Crude in the West Texas Intermediate benchmark, the key United States domestic price, briefly dipped as low as $29.97 on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday afternoon.

{mosads}It settled at $30.22 for the end of the trading day, $1.19 below the previous day’s settlement, more than a 4 percent drop, according to Reuters.

It was the lowest oil price since December 2003.

The milestone comes after a year and a half of oil prices repeatedly dropping.

World oil markets are seeing a historic supply glut as production has increased in the United States, thanks largely to drilling techniques such as fracking and horizontal drilling. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), meanwhile, has continued to either refuse to pull back production or been unable to agree on production.

Earlier Tuesday, Nigeria’s oil minister said some OPEC countries requested a meeting to consider supply cuts, Reuters reported.

Soon after, his counterpart in the United Arab Emirates rejected the idea, sending prices tumbling even more.

While the resulting low gasoline prices have been a welcome sight to consumers, they’ve crippled the oil industry and brought massive layoffs. BP added to the carnage Tuesday with the announcement that it will cut 4,000 jobs worldwide.

Congress voted in December to lift the 40-year-old ban on oil exports, but that has done little so far to stop falling prices.

Tags oil OPEC Petroleum

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