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West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil dropped to $63.38 yesterday (Monday). At that level, the price of oil is now down more than 42% since September of 2013.
As this crude oil price chart shows, that's the fourth-largest bear market for oil in the last 30 years.
And with OPEC's recent decision to maintain its high level of production, crude oil prices will likely continue lower from here.
While the recent drop is stark, it still pales in comparison to the oil bear market of 2008. That year, the price of oil fell 72% between September and December. The 2008 drop was due to a weakened U.S. dollar and weak economic growth globally.
Prices fell from $120 to below $34 during that span. So while that bear market had a bigger impact on oil prices, our current bear market has lasted 12 months longer.
The second-largest drop came during a four-month span from November 1985 to March 1986. The collapse was attributed to Saudi Arabia boosting production in an attempt to gain global market share. Oil prices fell from nearly $32 per barrel to just above $10 per barrel.
The other biggest drops include the 46% drop for oil in 2001, when oil fell from roughly $32 to $17. The 42% drop from October 1997 through March 1998 rounds out the top five. Oil dropped from just below $23 per barrel to near $13.
While today's bear market from oil is far from the biggest price fall we've seen in the last 30 years, it is by far the longest among the top five. With OPEC and the United States in a current oil price standoff, the bear market will continue into 2015.
More Oil Price News: OPEC has refused to cut production, and in doing so, has created an oil price war with the U.S. shale producers. But the OPEC oil price war simply won't work, says Money Morning's Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors. He's been meeting with some of the world's top oil policymakers in Dubai this month to analyze OPEC's strategy. Here's his exclusive inside look at the oil market…