A dramatic fall in the price of oil in recent months shows no signs of ending, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), which states that weak demand, a strong dollar and booming U.S. oil production mean that a new chapter in the history of the oil markets is beginning which could affect the social stability of some countries.
Prices have declined by around 30 percent since peaking in June, with Brent crude crashing below the $80 level in early November. On Friday, the commodity was trading around a four-year low at $78 with speculators looking ahead to a meeting in Vienna later this month where the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) could look to cut production in the wake of the price falls.
'No clear consensus'
The IEA says that there appears to be no "clear consensus" from the Gulf states for a formal supply cut and predicts further downside pressures for the price of oil in the next few months.
"Supply/demand balances suggest that the price rout has yet to run its course," the IEA said in its new monthly report, released on Friday morning. "Our supply and demand forecasts indicate that barring any new supply disruption, downward price pressures could build further in the first half of 2015."