Crude oil prices have plunged by 20% since June raising questions about when Opec will cut output. But as Hayley Platt reports some believe the lower prices are giving a struggling world economy a boost.
The motorists are loving it - fuel prices haven't been this low for several years. A barrel of Brent crude is $30 cheaper than it was in mid-June - that's a fall of more than 20%. Credit Agricole's Adam Myers says it's all about the slowing global economy. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ADAM MYERS, CREDIT AGRICOLE, SAYING : "There's been quite a market for oil, quite a significant demand for oil throughout 2013 in the early stages of 2014 and that has reversed with the deteriorating expectations both in Asia and in Europe." Opec is well aware of course - but comments so far from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran suggest a cut to output is unlikely. There's even speculation the recent fall is deliberate. Michael Hewson is from CMC Markets. SOUNDBITE: Michael Hewson, Market Analyst, CMC Markets, saying (English): "We're in a bit of a price war at the moment, we've got more supply then we've got demand and I think this is in part a ploy by Saudi Arabia to I think squeeze the shale oil revolution and U.S. producers more than anything else but at some point I think we could well hit a floor and that floor probably is around the 80 dollar a barrel mark." It could take a while to slow the U.S. drilling boom and it could be painful in the short-term. At $80 a barrel it's estimated Opec countries would lose $200 billion of their recent reported $1 trillion earnings. Opec also has geo-political tensions in places like Syria, Sudan and Yemen to worry about. But while low prices are bad news for producers, countries and governments. They could help the global economy - giving it a cash injection similar to a quantitative easing programme.