Thursday 27 November 2014 11:57 am

Shell, BP and Petrofac shares close down as Opec decides not to cut oil production

FTSE 100 oil producers plummeted this afternoon as the Opec group of oil-producing companies, who met today in Vienna, announced its decision not to curb oil production, despite falling prices.

Tullow Oil and BG Group were among the biggest fallers, closing down 7.76 per cent and 6.15 per cent respectively, while Petrofac closed down 5.95 per cent, Shell fell 4.44 per cent and BP dropped 2.79 per cent. 

The price of Brent crude dropped $2.96 to $74.79 a barrel on the announcement, while WTI crude fell $2.62 to $71.07 a barrel.

Oil prices have fallen 30 per cent this year, as a glut in supply was exacerbated by a boom in shale gas in the US.

Although some had hoped the group would agree to measures curbing production, last night Ali al-Naimi, the Saudi Arabian oil minister, gave a strong sign the group would reject such an idea, saying he expected the market to "stabilise itself eventually". 

The worry had been that were a cut imposed, it would only create a short-term solution to the problem. Jameel Ahmad, chief market analyst at FXTM, pointed out earlier today that a cut would cause "fears [to] resurface regarding oil prices in the future".

However, Connor Campbell, an analyst at Spreadex, pointed out that "with this opportunity gone, oil looks at a loss for another chance to end its drop in the short term".