The price of crude oil has fallen to its lowest level in more than 18 months as mild weather in the northern hemisphere has caused inventories to rise.
Light sweet crude for February delivery Tuesday dropped as much as $2 a barrel to $53.88. That is the lowest price per barrel in New York trading since June 2005.
The price drop comes despite the disruption of Russia's oil exports to Europe. Moscow refuses to pay a newly imposed customs tax by Minsk for its oil crossing Belarus, which supplies 20 percent of Russian oil to Europe.
Oil also declined as traders expressed skepticism OPEC plans to cut oil production by another 500,000 barrels per day. The international oil cartel agreed to a production cut of one million barrels per day in November, but prices have continued to drop.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Bloomberg.