The average price of crude oil from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries fell below $60 for the first time since July 2009, according to data from the 12-member cartel. However, the global benchmark Brent, against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, fell to $61.28 per barrel on Monday.
Brent has now lost more than 45 per cent of its value since its mid-June spike of $115 per barrel.
The price of OPEC basket of 12 crudes stood at $58.65 per barrel, compared with $60.50 on Thursday, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.
The OPEC basket, the best measure of what the oil exporters earn per barrel, had in early November fell below $80, the lowest since October 2010.
OPEC, which supplies about 40 per cent of world’s oil, had last week in its latest monthly oil report predicted lower global oil demand for this year and 2015, sparking further slide in oil prices.
It forecast that the call on the group’s crude would drop in 2015 to its lowest level in 12 years, revising down its demand growth estimate for 2014 by 120,000 barrels per day to 930,000 bpd.
For next year, global oil demand growth should average 1.12 million bpd, down 70,000 bpd from a month ago, according to the cartel.
The decline in oil prices was triggered by several factors, including fall in demand and supply glut largely driven by the shale oil boom in the United States.
US investment bank, Morgan Stanley, in a report last week, said oil prices could fall as low as $43 per barrel next year.
The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes is made up of Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (United Arab Emirates) and Merey (Venezuela).
On Friday, the International Energy Agency slashed its forecast for demand growth in 2015 for the fifth time in six months. Agency report