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Global Oil Prices Continue Downward Slide

Oil prices continued their downward slide, slipping to levels not seen in two decades amid the fallout from the coronavirus and a contentious deal between oil cartel OPEC and Russia.

U.S. crude oil prices fell 20 percent on April 20, slipping below $15 a barrel.

That's the lowest price for the U.S. benchmark of West Texas Intermediate in nearly 20 years.

The broader global index, known as Brent crude, fell more than 2 percent to under $27 a barrel. The main Russian index, known as Urals, was down more than 1 percent as of April 17, to just over $23 a barrel.

The collapse of global oil prices is due to the ongoing widespread economic slowdown caused by governments imposing restrictions on businesses and individuals in a bid to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

It also coincides with the surge in supplies by major oil-producing countries that occurred after Russia and OPEC failed to agree on a deal to cut production.

Moscow and Saudi Arabia -- the world's biggest oil producer -- later reversed course and reached agreement to limit some pumping, but that has done little to stop the drop in prices.

The price collapse has begun to worry governments that rely on revenues from oil and gas exports. That includes Russia and Saudi Arabia, as well as Venezuela and Iran.

Based reporting by AFP and AP

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