The main reference price for crude oil exports from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) fell to its lowest since 2010 on Thursday, tracking the slump in global oil benchmarks.
The OPEC Basket price, a mix of a dozen different crude oil grades from the OPEC members ranging from heavy Venezuelan Merey crude to light Algerian Saharan Blend, fell to $88.32 a barrel, just below the previous mid-2012 low of $88.74. It is likely to drop again on Friday after a further slump in oil futures.
The 20 percent slide in the basket price since mid-June mirrors the decline in global marker Brent, which has dropped by more than $25 a barrel. But the Basket offers a slightly more accurate reading of the impact on OPEC members, and thus its decline may be even more alarming to the cartel.
Some OPEC members have already begun talking about the need to cut production to shore up prices, but core Gulf members such as Saudi Arabia have shown little inclination to take any action prior to the group’s Nov. 27 meeting.
The current composition of the OPEC Basket is: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela).