Oil slides to new five-and-a-half-year low amid global supply glut

Jessica Morris
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Oil fell to a new five and a half year low (Source: Getty)

Brent crude slipped below $55 per barrel today, marking a new five a half year low for the black stuff.

It came after record supplies from Iraq and Russia fueled speculation persistently low prices were set to continue.

Data from Russia's energy industry showed oil output hit a post-Soviet high last year at around 10.5m barrels per day.

Elsewhere Iraq's oil exports for December were at their highest since 1980, according to an oil ministry spokesman.

Oil has suffered since mid-June, losing nearly half its value amid a global supply glut and increasingly fierce competition from the US shale gas industry.

Last year Saudi Arabia's oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, said the $60 per barrel price would be temporary, yet others expect oil prices to remain persistently low throughout the next year.

This has created winners and losers - consumers and retailers have rejoiced at the increased spending power of many Britons, however oil and energy companies worry falling prices will eat into their profits.

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