Crude oil prices fell Wednesday as traders calculated that OPEC would not reduce production to counter a global oil supply glut at this month's meeting.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for December delivery closed at $77.18 a barrel, a three-year low, after shedding 76 cents from Tuesday's closing level.
Brent crude for delivery in December dived $1.29 to settle barely above the psychological level of $80, at $80.38 a barrel in London.
"For the last three months we go from multiyear lows to multiyear lows. Things will get difficult until we get to the OPEC meeting" on November 27, said Gene McGillian of Tradition Energy.
"We don't really have a clear indication that they want to do anything about the excess supply that is overhanging the market."
The 12-nation Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, in its monthly oil market report Wednesday, said that its crude price basket fell 11.3 percent from September to an average $85.06 barrel in October, a four-year low, "on concerns about the pace of global economic growth."
On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia's oil minister rejected talk that the OPEC kingpin was leading a price war in global oil markets as crude prices continue to sink.
"Talk of a price war is a sign of misunderstanding -- deliberate or otherwise -- and has no basis in reality," Ali Al-Naimi told a conference in Acapulco, according to the text of his speech.
Naimi called recent talk of a change in the country's strategy, in particular its cutting prices of Saudi oil to the US market, "a great deal of wild and inaccurate conjecture."
"Saudi oil policy has remained constant for the past few decades, and it has not changed today," he said.
"We do not seek to politicize oil, nor do we collude against anybody. For us, it is a question of supply and demand. It is purely business."
Last week Riyadh sent global oil prices tumbling when it cut its prices for crude for the US market while raising them for Asia, the country's major outlet.
Analysts guessed that the country wanted to strengthen its market share in the United States against a flood of domestic oil from shale deposits.