14:59 GMT14 May 2021
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    Crude oil prices continued to drop Monday, following Friday's decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to maintain the cartel's production ceiling, with brent crude hitting the $42 per barrel mark for the first time since February 24, 2009.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Markets reacted to OPEC's decision to maintain output with a slump on Monday, with January futures for North Sea Brent Crude falling by 2.78 percent to $41.80 per barrel, and WTI crude falling by 3.55 percent to $38.55 as of 14:13 GMT. Prices dipped to $41.78 and $38.50 respectively earlier in the day.

    OPEC's summit closed in Vienna on Friday, with no changes to its 30-million-barrel daily production quota. The organization's Secretary General Abdalla Salem Badri cited the uncertainty over Iran's expected output as a major factor preventing a decision from being taken. Iran is expected to ramp up its production once international sanctions are lifted from the country.

    OPEC will also continue to exceed its 30 million barrels a day target, according to the organization. The excess persists despite October's production cut of 256,000 barrels per day.

    Brent crude prices plunged from $115 per barrel to $48.5 per barrel between June 2014 and January 2015. Prices did not exceed $67 per barrel throughout 2015, fluctuating around an average of $55 per barrel.


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