Crude prices plummeted to four- year lows on Friday as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) didn't cut its output at Thursday's meeting in Vienna.
The 12-nation cartel, which pumps a third of the world's crude, opted Thursday to keep its collective production ceiling at 30 million barrels per day, where it has maintained for three years .
OPEC said, ample supply, moderate demand, a stronger U.S. dollar and uncertainties about global economic growth have been key factors in this recent price trend. In addition, as OPEC has noted the impact of speculative activity in the oil market has also been an important factor.
In line with this economic outlook, world oil demand in 2015 is forecast to grow by around 1.1 million barrels per day, with total world consumption at around 92.3 million barrels per day, OPEC predicated.
The bulk of this net oil demand growth will continue to come from non-OECD countries. Non-OPEC oil supply is also anticipated to rise next year by 1.4 million barrels per day to average 57.3 million barrels per day.
Analysts regarded the OPEC decision very bearish to crude prices. As the organization keeps production steady, crude prices could fall further.
A report from French bank Societe Generale said, "We are entering a new era for oil prices, where the market itself will manage supply, no longer Saudi Arabia and OPEC."
A trader said that OPEC's decision will ensure a crash in the U. S. shale industry as the prices became unprofitable for some explorers.
Light, sweet crude for January delivery moved down 7.54 dollars to settle at 66.15 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for January delivery lost 2. 43 dollars to close at 70.15 dollars a barrel.