U.S. WTI crude closed at a three-year low on Wednesday with prices under pressure from the growing oil glut created by the U.S. shale boom and the restart of Libya's largest operational oilfield.
With oil prices down 30 percent since June, delegates in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are starting to suggest they may push for an informal output cut of around 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) when the producer group meets in Vienna on Nov. 27.
But they have warned an agreement within OPEC will not be easy, and many oil traders and analysts doubt members will take a decisive stance as they compete to hold onto market share.
Brent for December delivery fell $1.50 to $80.18 per barrel. It dipped below $80 earlier for the first time since 2010.
U.S. crude settled 76 cents lower at $77.18 per barrel, its lowest close since October 2011.
Saudi Arabia, the world's largest exporter, said it was doing its best with other producers to ensure price stability.
``Talk of a price war is a sign of misunderstanding, deliberate or otherwise, and has no basis in reality,'' Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said during a visit to Mexico on Wednesday.
The country also said its oil production was little changed in October in OPEC's monthly report on Wednesday, even as the group forecast demand for its oil next year will drop to 29.2 million bpd - almost 1 million less than it is currently producing.
"The consensus view is OPEC won't take any action, or if it does, not big enough or sufficiently definitive to have too much impact on prices," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at Sydney's CMC Markets.