World oil prices fell to a four-year low Thursday, despite a record production cut by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Wednesday.
Prices for light crude oil for January delivery dropped more than one dollar to hit $38.71 a barrel in New York trading.
Oil prices have fallen more than 70 percent since record highs last July as economic problems cut demand.
As they fight those economic problems, World Bank President Robert Zoellick is urging governments to avoid giving into protectionism.
Zoellick told reporters in Singapore Thursday government policies would determine if and how the world economy recovers next year. Zoellick says the first half of 2009 will see problems with economic growth worldwide, especially in Asia.
Last week, the World Bank predicted that East Asian growth will slow two percentage points to just over 5 percent in 2009. The report blames declining investment and falling demand for exports.
Zoellick says Chinese leaders told him they were stunned by the sharp drop in demand for exports.
But he says China and other nations are well prepared to handle the current crisis, after years of sustained economic growth.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.