For the first time since May 2005, the poor global economic situation pushed the price of oil back below the US $ 50 mark. In London, the price per barrel of North Sea Brent fell to $ 48.83. That was almost two thirds less than in July. At that time, the price of a barrel had reached a record $ 147.50.

Traders pointed to the falling demand as a result of the global economic downturn. As a result, enormous stocks have accumulated. According to media reports, oil companies are already renting tankers for storage. Bad news from the auto industry and the US economy also weighed on sentiment. Even speculators are increasingly relying on falling prices, explained experts.

OPEC is considering lower production rates

Experts also see the latest data on US oil reserves as an indication of the decline in demand for crude oil. In the largest economy in the world, stocks of crude oil and gasoline had recently increased. Against the background of the rapid downturn, there are now increasing indications of a new cut in production by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The incumbent OPEC President Chakib Khelil recently said that the member states of the cartel had no choice but to implement further production cuts. This is the only way to keep the oil price in the range between 70 and 90 dollars per barrel.

Extractable oil reserves no longer increase

The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Raw Materials (BGR) warned of a shortage of crude oil, regardless of the falling price. According to a BGR study, the world’s economically viable oil reserves fell slightly to 163.5 billion tons at the end of 2007, after 163.7 billion tons had been registered a year earlier. According to the study, the stagnation of reserves is a novelty. The maximum of oil production could already be reached in 2020. By then, according to the BGR, half of all recoverable oil will probably be pumped out of the earth.

Gasoline prices are falling

The consequences of the currently falling crude oil prices can now also be clearly felt by German consumers. The fuel prices at German petrol stations reached a new annual low this week. According to the ADAC, the liter of super cost just under 1.18 euros at the beginning of the week and was around five cents cheaper than the previous week. Diesel was even seven cents cheaper and cost around 1.16 euros.