Crude oil prices fell by more than 2% on Tuesday as the cost per barrel continues to slide ever more closely to the $30 price point for the first time in 12 years.
The sell off is in large part being created by lowered Chinese demand and the absence of restraint in global production.
Crude fell by nearly 7% on Monday and losses for the year have nearly reached 17% because of over supply issues, sliding stock markets, and a strong dollar that has made oil more expensive in countries using other currencies to purchase oil.
Several prominent analysts have cut their 2016 oil forecasts to as low as $10 per barrel.
Benchmark Brent crude fell to a low of $30.43 per barrel, it’s lowest level since April 2004. It was trading at $30.65, down 90 cents, at 11:43 a.m. EDT.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude(WTI) spiraled down to $30.10, it’s lowest point since December 2003.
Several members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have requested an emergency meeting ahead of the groups next official gathering in June.
“The market is so relaxed with the fact that we have a huge surplus. The momentum is too strong to the bearish side, even if fundamentally nothing has changed.” said Dominick Chirichella, a senior partner at Energy Management Institute.
Prices are expected to remain low after Iraq announced plans to export a record 3.63 million barrels per day in February. Iran is also bringing its oil back onto the legal market, a fact that is likely to increase supply during a time of very weak demand.