Should that fail to balance the market, OPEC and its allies will hold an extraordinary meeting, United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said on Sunday.
“Oil ministers are already taking to the airwaves with a ‘price stability at all cost’ mantra,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore.
The price drop has caused U.S. shale oil producers to curtail drilling plans for next year. The boom in shale output has made the United States the world’s largest oil producer, overtaking Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Physical prices for Brent have also fallen in the last six weeks, driven by a drop in demand from Chinese refiners in particular, which has weighed on the value of barrels of anything from North Sea to Nigerian crude.
“The recent weakness in the physical Brent structure can be attributed to a broader easing of purchases by Asian refiners at this point, with lower end-Q1 intake weighing on spot assessments, and we can expect this pressure to carry through over the coming weeks,” consultancy JBC Energy said in a report.
— CNBC’s Tom DiChristopher contributed to this report.