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OPEC, Russia in 'Cold War' Over Falling Oil Prices

© AP Photo / Hasan JamaliThe Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and nonmembers of the organization, namely Russia, are engaged in a "cold war" amid decreasing oil prices
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and nonmembers of the organization, namely Russia, are engaged in a cold war amid decreasing oil prices - Sputnik International
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Board of directors member from Bahrain's National Oil and Gas Authority stated that Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and nonmembers of the organization, namely Russia, are engaged in a "cold war" amid decreasing oil prices.

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MOSCOW, January 15 (Sputnik) The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and nonmembers of the organization, namely Russia, are engaged in a "cold war" amid decreasing oil prices, a board of directors member from Bahrain's National Oil and Gas Authority told Sputnik Radio on Thursday.

"It is somewhat of a cold war … between the biggest oil producers, between OPEC countries like Saudi Arabia and the biggest oil producer [that is a nonmember] like Russia," Mohammed Sayed said.

He went on to say that should OPEC members agree to reduce oil prices further, some nonmember countries could replace them in supplying oil globally and eat into OPEC's market share.

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"What is happening now is a mere conflict of 'market share.' If OPEC reduced its oil production, it would mean the withdrawal of OPEC from the market itself. Besides, the nonmembers of OPEC will take over their place in the market," Sayed told Sputnik Radio.

The director cited a decreasing demand from China and the European Union's shrinking dependence on crude oil as two main reasons for the drop in oil prices. However, he said the they could not go any lower and in order to raise petroleum prices, OPEC and other countries would have to agree on reducing their oil output.

World oil prices have been falling in recent months amid an oversupply in the market. US investment bank Goldman Sachs said earlier this week the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil could hit $39 per barrel over the next six months, with the price of Brent falling to $43 per barrel over the same period.

In November 2014, OPEC decided to not change oil output levels, which triggered a further drop in oil prices. The current price of a barrel of Brent crude is hovering around $50.

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