Oil slides after OPEC's unexpected meeting delay

West Texas crude under $75 a barrel, gas prices fall

Oil prices slid after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) unexpectedly rescheduled a series of meetings for later this month.

West Texas Intermediate and Brent Crude, the global benchmark, both dropped over 4% to the $74 and $79 per barrel level, respectively, by mid-morning Wednesday. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
USO UNITED STATES OIL FUND L.P. 78.80 -0.03 -0.04%
BNO UNITED STS BRENT OIL FD LP UNIT 32.01 -0.06 -0.17%

OPEC said on Wednesday that the 187th Meeting of the OPEC Conference, the 51st Meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee and the 36th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting have all been delayed until Thursday, Nov. 30. The three meetings were originally planned for Nov. 25 and Nov. 26.

Major oil stocks fell in sympathy. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
XOM EXXON MOBIL CORP. 120.58 +0.68 +0.57%
CVX CHEVRON CORP. 160.00 +2.43 +1.54%
OXY OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORP. 66.63 +0.59 +0.89%

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Even before the meeting delay, prices have been falling nearly 12% in the last month.

U.S. Oil Fund

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The World Bank warned in late October that oil prices and other commodities could see "large increases" if the Israel-Hamas war spreads through the Middle East.  The Washington-based institution also said that despite commodity markets responding "calmly" to the war, "historical precedent" suggests that escalating conflict in the region could substantially disrupt commodity supply.

Meanwhile, the Energy Information Administration reported on Wednesday a much larger than expected build in oil inventories of 8.7 million, a surprise build in gasoline stockpiles of 700,000 million and a steeper than expected drop in distillate supplies of 1 million. 

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Consumers are getting a break this Thanksgiving week, one of the busiest travel periods of the year, as the dip in oil prices has roughly 70,000 gas stations in the U.S. at $2.99 per gallon or lower, Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, posted on Wednesday.

Prices at the pump have mimicked the drop in crude and have been steadily falling in recent months with consumers paying less than the same period a year ago despite the ongoing conflict in the Middle East and between Russia and Ukraine. 

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FOX Business’ Greg Norman and Chris Pandolfo contributed to this report.