Top Stories
Top Stories
Market Insider

Saudi 'shock and awe' slams oil; nat gas gets burned

Nikodash | iStock/Getty Images Plus

OPEC talked down the oil market, sending crude sharply lower, while warm weather and growing supply battered natural gas prices.

West Texas Intermediate futures for February fell more than 3 percent, or $1.87, to $55.26 per barrel, as traders reacted to comments from Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi. Natural gas fell more than 9 percent to $3.144 a million British thermal units in the biggest one-day drop since February.

Read More

Naimi and other officials attending an energy conference in Abu Dhabi reaffirmed OPEC's decision to hold output at current levels. He said the steep drop in oil prices was due to the lack of coordination among other non-OPEC producers as well as speculators and misleading information.

Naimi said it was not in the interest of OPEC to cut production, no matter what the price is. "Whether it goes down to $20, $40, $50, $60, it is irrelevant," he was quoted as saying.