A historic meeting of OPEC oil ministers seven days ago sparked a sell-off that sent crude oil prices to hit multiyear lows Thursday.
The meeting went worse for oil producers than investors could have imagined. It was alleged that Saudi Arabia was floating a plan to cut production by a million barrels per day; the market cheered.
Once the details of the plan emerged, however, they showed how illusory, if not impossible, it would be to accomplish that feat.
A cutback by Saudi Arabia would only occur if there were cutbacks from other OPEC members including Iran and Iraq, along with non-OPEC producers like Russia, Mexico, Oman and Kazakhstan.
Right out of the gate, the soon-to-be-free-of-U.N.-sanctions nation, Iran, made clear its reluctance to reduce oil quotas. Neither was Iraq, which actually touted a plan to increase production next year.
Russia, another key player, also dismissed that possibility, while Mexico and Kazakhstan remained quiet.
So, what's next for oil prices?