Oil prices slid once again, with U.S. crude hitting its lowest levels since May of 2009. Bobbi Rebell reports.
And the slide continues with U.S. crude oil on Friday hitting price levels not seen since 2009. The International Energy Agency said oil prices would likely come under further pressure, cutting its outlook for demand growth in 2015 and predicting that non-OPEC output gains would increase global supplies. Energy options trader Peter Amandio: SOUNDBITE: PETER AMANDIO, ENERGY OPTIONS TRADER (ENGLISH) SAYING; "I see a long-term spiral to the downside but I'm saying long term. When I was talking $50, when we were in the $90's it was only a matter of weeks ago. So, if you have been in the commodities world for a long time, usually when we fall on a long-term basis it happens much quicker than you think so we could fall hard, and we could fall very quickly." Global crude prices have fallen by more than 40 percent since June due to oversupply and OPEC's refusal to cut its output ceiling- though industry sources tell Reuters Saudi Arabia cut output in November. The S&P energy sector has shed more than 16 percent this year, making it the worst performing of the 10 major S&P sectors. The fall impacting U.S. oil and gas producers- who are scaling back capital spending plans for 2015. In the U.S., where the shale business has been booming- that will mean layoffs, and consolidation, says Platt's John Kingston: SOUNDBITE: JOHN KINGSTON, DIRECTOR OF NEWS, PLATT'S (ENGLISH) SAYING: "What is going to happen is that companies that have big debt issues, and that aren't going to be able to cover their debt anymore out of their cash flow, or sell more debt to cover the old debt. What is going to happen is that they're going to get bought up by people with much deeper pockets. " In fact global oil and gas exploration projects worth more than $150 billion are likely to be put on hold in 2015 as plunging oil prices render them uneconomic, according to data from Norwegian consultancy Rystad Energy.