As of 15:15 a.m. Moscow time (12:15 GMT), Brent North Sea crude futures were trading at a five-year low of $66.96 per barrel, falling by 3.13 percent from the opening, while the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude oil futures for January delivery had decreased by 2.53 percent and was trading at $64.21 per barrel.
Oil prices continued to fall amid signs that US output is increasing, despite OPEC's decision to maintain oil production levels which analysts had expected render certain sources of US shale oil unprofitable, driving it out of the market, Bloomberg reported Monday.
An analyst interviewed by Bloomberg predicted that OPEC's decision, which led to a decline in oil prices, can make production of shale oil in the United States unprofitable.
"This is primarily a supply-side issue. Current supplies are too large for any foreseeable improvement in demand. The price needs to fall to a level that starts to really give the market some comfort that new projects are going to be put on the backburner and delayed," Bloomberg quoted Chief Market Strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, Ric Spooner as saying.
World oil prices fell sharply after the decision of OPEC members to maintain oil production at 30 million barrels a day. Following the statement, Brent and WTI futures fell in price to $67.53 and $63.72 per barrel respectively, the lowest level since October 2009.
OPEC currently has 12 member states, including Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. Combined, OPEC's members currently produce about one third of the world's oil output and 81% of global oil reserves.