OPEC is considering emergency action to correct oil prices

Oil Prices

Oil prices have collapsed by more than 65% to a 12-year low and now that collapse might be too much for OPEC to handle.

Nigeria’s top oil official and OPEC President Emmanuel Kachikwu said the cartel is considering an emergency meeting.

At issue is whether OPEC would agree to cut production, a move that could help oil prices stabilize and ultimately increase.

Saudi Arabia, the leader of OPEC, recently refused to cut production. Oil is cheaper to produce in that region and Saudi leaders believed keeping production levels at all-time highs would help force out other oil producers, including US firms.

When OPEC last met in December, the oil cartel was deeply divided over whether or not to cut oil production. The group isn’t set to meet again until June 2.

Instead of stopping production, many companies have fired hundreds of thousands of workers and reduced their investment budgets to stay in operation.

In the meantime, China has stopped purchasing so much oil because of a slowdown in its economy, which has led to a global supply glut that continues to decrease the price per barrel.

The strong US dollar has also made it more expensive for many countries to purchase increasing amount of oil.

Oil prices fell toward $30 a barrel early on Tuesday, losing 16% of their value since 2016 began.

While many OPEC countries are still making money, they are dangerously close to falling into the red. Nigeria’s production costs are estimated at about $31 a barrel.