OIL IS PLUNGING

Oil is still falling.

In afternoon trade in the US on Friday, West Texas Intermediate crude prices in the US dropped more than 10% to settle at $US66.15 a barrel, a more than $US7.50 drop in just 24 hours.

At one point on Friday, WTI futures briefly breached $US66.

Brent crude prices, which are the global benchmark, also cracked $US70 a barrel on Friday.

Earlier this week, WTI prices were at around $US76 and Brent prices were near $US80.

The drop in crude prices is a continuation of the collapse that started on Thursday after the latest OPEC meeting saw the oil cartel maintain its current rate of production. Many in the market expected OPEC to announce production cuts to combat the recent decline in oil prices, which some have blamed on too much global supply.

On Thursday, WTI prices fell more than 6% to below $US70 for the first time since June 2010.

Equity markets in the US were closed for Thanksgiving, but in a shortened session on Friday, oil companies were the big losers, with oil giants like Exxon Mobil, BP, and Total seeing shares decline more than 5%.

Meanwhile smaller oil producers like Whiting Petroleum, Kodiak Oil & Gas, and Oasis Petroleum all saw shares fall more than 28%.

Here is the insane chart of crude prices over the last 24 hours.

More to come …

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.