Oil prices have hit a record low falling below $60 per barrel. Although for gasoline consumers the drop in prices is accompanied by happy bank accounts, other production sectors and countries are starting to feel the effects.
From oil fields in places like Texas to those in Saudi Arabia and Russia, along with extraction plants and businesses, are being affected by the fall in prices. Countries like Venezuela and Russia, whose economies greatly depend on oil extraction and exportation are some of the hardest hit as they try to maintain production quotas in the face of a saturated market.
“Russia’s rouble went into free-fall in Tuesday trading, falling repeatedly to hit record lows, despite the central bank’s dramatic decision to raise interest rates from 10.5% to 17%,” according to BBC.
Why are oil prices down?
The simple answer is that there is a surplus in the supply of oil, but a decreased demand for oil in the global market. This problem has been perpetuated by the exploration and the energy independence revolution in the United States and Canada. The extraction of shale oil in the United States has boomed and created alternative energy sources that are messing with the natural flow of oil trade (Boston Globe).