The price of a barrel of crude oil slipped for the seventh time in eight trading sessions as burgeoning U.S. shale production has become the dominant market consideration overwhelming OPEC's supply reduction.
West Texas Intermediate, the American standard, fell on Tuesday as much as 1.5 percent from yesterday's close, bringing its three week decline to 10.5 percent from its three year high on January 26th of $66.14.
Oil stocks in developed countries had their sharpest drop in six years in December as global economies continue to strengthen but what would normally be a support for crude prices has been swamped in the rising flood of crude production from U.S. shale fields.
The U.S. is expected by many analysts, including the Paris based International Energy Agency, to supplant Russia and become the world's largest producer by the end of this year.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries imposed production limits on its members early last year in an effort to boost prices by curtailing supply, but even last month's record and somewhat unusual compliance had little effect on the markets in light of rising North American output.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that " Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said Tuesday that the cartel will discuss in December whether to extend their supply accord into a third year."
West Texas Intermediate Was trading at $58.95 after hours at 5:35 pm in New York.
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