Crude oil prices fell for a third straight day yesterday to hit a 22-month low of $55 a barrel as mounting pessimism about the global economy outweighed OPEC's comments that it could cut output again as early as end of November.
US light crude for December delivery was down 95 cents at $55.21 a barrel by 0702 GMT, after having fallen earlier to $54.67, the lowest since January 30, 2007. London Brent crude fell $1.02 to $51.35, off an earlier low of $50.60.
OPEC officials, concerned about oil's steep drop from record highs over $147 a barrel per day (bpd) in July, said the cartel could possibly decide by the end of the month to cut production again to raise prices.
But comments from the producer group failed to lift oil prices, as investors focused on near-term demand worries after the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) slashed America's 2008 oil demand outlook and the International Energy Agency (IEA) flagged further reduction in its oil forecast.
"Oil prices continue to be pressured by fears that weaker international economic growth will depress oil consumption," said David Moore, an analyst at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.