Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries failed to reach a deal to curb oil production in an effort to boost prices Thursday.
The OPEC meeting in Vienna came after a couple of years of falling oil prices have hurt energy companies and oil exporting nations. Prices plunged from well over $100 a barrel to around $26 because oil production has been greater than demand for petroleum products. The cartel controls more than one-third of the world's oil, and previously was able to keep prices high by agreeing to limit production.
Oil prices had recently rebounded to around $50 a barrel, but fell somewhat after OPEC's failure to make an agreement. Analysts say friction between two key oil producers, Saudi Arabia and Iran complicated efforts to reach a deal. Saudi Arabia is a Sunni Muslim nation while Iran is overwhelmingly Shi'ite Muslim.
OPEC member nations did agree to appoint Nigeria's Mohammed Barkindo as its new secretary-general.