Crude oil just keeps falling

Crude oil continues to be in free fall.

On Friday, West Texas Intermediate crude futures in New York were near the lowest levels since early 2009. WTI futures fell about 1% to as low as $36.66 per barrel.

Since the OPEC meeting earlier in December, when the cartel decided it would not reduce production, oil’s slide has continued virtually uninterrupted.

Since then, we’ve received even more signs that the global supply glut is not going away anytime soon. On Wednesday, the Energy Information Administration reported a build in US inventories by nearly 500 million barrels, against expectations for a decline in stockpiles.

And last night, hedge fund manager Jim Chanos said on CNBC that if he were a member of OPEC, he’d be pumping as much oil as possible now “because it might not be worth a whole lot by 2030.”

His argument was less of a supply-glut one, and more to the point that electric and solar energy use is on the rise.

All this, and the dollar’s continued rally, are keeping oil prices at multi-year lows.

Here’s a chart showing the recent drop in WTI:

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