17 March 2015, Lagos – The price of global benchmark Brent crude oil fell about three per cent on Monday to a six-week low of $52.50 per barrel, less than a week after the National Assembly adopted $53 per barrel as the 2015 budget oil price benchmark.
Brent crude, against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, bounced back from six-year lows to around $60 per barrel in January, while the United States’ benchmark West Texas Intermediate fluctuated around the $50 mark.
Last week, the Senate and the House of Representatives settled for $53 as the crude oil benchmark price for this year’s budget, down from $65 proposed by the Executive.
The sharp decline in oil prices had last year forced the government to adjust the benchmark price for the 2015 budget twice from $78 to $73, and later to $65.
Brent, which fell below $53 per barrel early on Monday, later rose to $53.55 in the evening.
The WTI, which tumbled to a March 2009 low of $42.85 per barrel, also rebounded to $43.36.
Brent and the United States crude have fallen over the last two weeks on renewed fears of an oil glut, after February’s rebound from a 60 per cent price drop in seven earlier months.
The International Energy Agency had last Friday warned that another sharp fall in oil prices was likely despite the recent rebound.