Opec kingpin Saudi Arabia is feeling vindicated after a strategy of allowing oil to flood the market has begun to achieve what it was aiming for.
As a global oil glut pushed prices down 60 per cent between June 2014 and January 20
Shale oil producers are throttling back so quickly on drilling that US crude output could fall sooner than expected, within months, executives say as they slash costs to cope with tumbling crude prices and compete with Arabian Gulf rivals.
Oil prices remained near five-and-a-half year lows in early Asian trading on Wednesday after prices saw yet more heavy falls in the previous session, and analysts said a supply glut meant that more falls were likely before a rebound.
The Obama administration has opened a new front in the global battle for oil market share, effectively clearing the way for the shipment of as much as a million barrels per day of ultra-light US crude to the rest of the world.
Oil prices fell on Wednesday to a 5-1/2-year low and ended with their second-biggest annual decline ever, down by half since June under pressure from a global glut of crude.
Just before the close, Brent and US oil futures bounced
Oil dropped towards $56 a barrel on Wednesday and was heading for its biggest annual decline since 2008, pressured by weakening demand and a supply glut prompted by the US shale boom and Opec's refusal to cut output.
The Obama administration on Tuesday bowed to months of growing pressure over a 40-year-old ban on exports of most domestic crude, taking two steps expected to unleash a wave of ultra-light shale oil onto global markets.
Unconventional oil and gas resources will play an important role in the global fuel mix with technological advancement across the entire value chain shaping the profitability of the industry in the long term, a report said.
Brent crude slipped below $72 a barrel on Tuesday, giving up some of the gains seen on Monday when prices rallied for the first time in six sessions and closed up more than 3 per cent.
Oil futures on both sides of the Atlantic hav