OPEC report, high US crude inventories sends oil prices to new 5-year lows

Energy Associated Press

The price of oil took another dive Wednesday to new five-year lows after OPEC projected the world will need less of its oil next year.

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A U.S. government report showing an increase in oil supplies also pressured prices.

Benchmark U.S. crude was down $3.01, or 5 percent, in midday trading to $60.81 a barrel. That's its lowest level since July of 2009 and 43 percent below its high for this year. Brent crude, an international benchmark used to price oil sold to many U.S. refineries, was down $3.04 to $63.80.

OPEC said it expects demand for its crude to fall next year because of lower global demand and higher production from non-OPEC countries.

Also, the Energy Department said U.S. supplies of oil rose last week. Analysts were expecting a decline.