Oil prices fell below $33 a barrel on Thursday – levels not seen for 12 years –after market turmoil in China tested the nerves of investors around the world.
Benchmark Brent crude for February delivery was trading at $33.57 on Thursday, down 66 cents or 1.93 percent, having recovered from more than a 5 percent fall overnight to a low of $32.16, the lowest level since April 2004.
Meanwhile, U.S. crude futures also dropped more than 5 percent to a low of $32.10 per barrel, a level not seen since December 2003, but had since recovered to $33.13.
The price of oil has fallen around 70 percent since June 2014, when a barrel cost around $114. Since then, a glut in global supply and demand failing to keep up – as well as the decision by major oil producer cartel OPEC to not cut production – has meant that prices have not had any support.