11/28/2014, 00.00
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Oil prices drop, amid tug of war between OPEC and the US. But markets celebrate

Black gold now valued at $ 70 a barrel, the lowest price since 2011. Difficulties in Britain and the US, where oil shale is no unprofitable. Problems and risk of recession for Russia.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Shipping and airline stocks have shot up after OPEC's decision (the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) not to reduce the production of crude oil, thus bringing down the price per barrel to below $ 70, the lowest level in four years.

According to analysts, oil costs account for 20-30% in shipping, and to 30-40% in the airline transport. A low cost of oil will help their market at least in the short term. Shipping companies - for example - will save at least up to 100 million US dollars a day.

The good news came after the OPEC meeting in Vienna yesterday, in which the 12 member countries decided not to cut production by about 1 million barrels per day, although in recent months the price of oil had fallen low. Among the OPEC nations, the most upset is Venezuela which has been calling for a reduction in extractions to return the price to 100 US dollars per barrel.

The OPEC decision, led by Saudi Arabia, will hurt various oil producers. Brent oil in Britain fell yesterday by 6.7% reaching up to $ 72.58 per barrel; in June had reached 115.71.

But the goal of this price war appears to be the oil shale produced in the US, whose extraction, to be profitable, must have a sale price of at least $ 80. Instead, the Middle Eastern oil producing nations (Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq) can afford to lower their prices to $ 30 a barrel.

The further reduction in oil prices is likely to plunge Russia into a deeper crisis. Moscow covers half of its budget from taxes on oil and gas. The price of $ 70 a barrel could erode its revenues to the point of recession.


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