Officials at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties say global demand for oil will decline next year by more than half a million barrels per day.

That would put demand for oil at just over 86.5 million barrels a day.  It is the third time OPEC has cut its forecast for oil demand recently as the world economy slows and energy needs ease.

Falling demand has cut oil prices by around two-thirds from a high above $147 a barrel last July to the current price of around $55. OPEC member nations have scheduled a meeting for November 29 in Egypt when they are expected to consider cutting oil production in a bid to bolster prices.

But a production cut back in October has not yet stopped the price decline.

Oil prices fell Monday following word that Japan has fallen into recession, cutting energy demand by the world's second-largest economy.  But word that pirates have hijacked a Saudi-owned oil tanker off the of Kenya boosted prices for a while on worries about supplies.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.