Indian basket of crude oils goes under $30 a barrel

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New Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) Taking a $2 plus plunge overnight, the Indian crude basket dived sharply to a 13 year low to close under the $30 a barrel-mark on Thursday, official data showed on Friday.

On a day when UK Brent prices fell to levels last seen in 2004, the Indian basket — composed of 73 percent sour grade Dubai and Oman crudes and the rest by Brent — closed at $29.24 per barrel, as compared to $31.33 on the previous trading day.

The last time when the Indian crude basket fell below the $30-mark was 13 years ago when the price of a 159-litre barrel stood at $29.59 in January 2003. The previous lower to the basket’s latest rate came in March 2003, when a barrel sold at $28.83.

Marking yet another 13-year low, the price of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) basket of twelve crudes stood at $27.85 a barrel on Thursday, compared to $29.71 the previous day, the organisation’s secretariat said.

On Tuesday, the OPEC basket had stood at $31.21 a barrel.

US crude output increased unexpectedly last week to 9.219 million barrels a day, according to the US Energy Information Agency. Adding to investors’ worries was the lack of signs that US shale oil producers would start cutting production in face of the plunging prices.

The West Texas Intermediate for February delivery moved down $2 to settle at $33.97 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest close since December 2008.

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