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OPEC Crude Oil Reference Basket Price Reaches 12-Year Low

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The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Reference Basket benchmark for crude oil prices has fallen to $25 per barrel, OPEC said Friday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The basket, weighed from 13 crude prices, slid to $25 per barrel down from its Thursday value of $25.69 per barrel, OPEC Secretariat calculations, quoted on the organization's website, indicated.

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In the latest price slump, the OPEC basket has reached it record low since April 11, 2003. Falling from over $30 per barrel since January 4, the basket's price continues its steepest decline since the 2009 financial crisis.

The basket's price declined from its average yearly peak value $109.45 per barrel in 2012 to $96.29 per barrel in 2014 before undergoing the steepest decline in a decade as it fell to $49.49 per barrel in 2015. The average value has now reached $28.06 in 2016.

Since January 1, the cartel's Reference Basket is made up of the Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Minas (Indonesia), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela).

The oil price free fall has been linked to a global glut in supply and overcapacity, as well as the economic slowdown among top energy consumers, including China.

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