With demand slowing and supplies rising, the world is awash in oil — sending prices crashing by more than 50 percent from a record high of $147 a barrel just three months ago. That has prompted oil producers to convene an emergency meeting to try to regain some control over prices.
But as OPEC ministers sit down Friday in Vienna to decide on production cuts they face a number of thorny obstacles to regaining control of the market.
The bursting of the oil price bubble has been as dramatic as the financial crisis that exploded onto the scene in early September. The two events are related: As the crisis has heightened the prospects for a deep global recession, energy prices have plunged on the expectation of lower demand.