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To paraphrase Dickens: It is both the best of times and the worst of times for oil-producing countries. The outlook for OPEC is bleak. Despite production cuts, the price of Brent crude oil remains below $70 per barrel.
It has become common to see spikes in oil prices. Since October the price of Brent crude has fallen by 30% to around US$59 per barrel, its lowest level since October last year.
Finally things came together for the oil market after a three-year slump characterised by a sharp fall in prices, and their subsequent stagnation at relatively low levels.