Opec's oil market disarray looks like 1990s slump

Bloomberg | .

Opec has dropped any attempt at trying to fulfill its founding mission and manage the oil market, sending global benchmark Brent crude to a six-year low. For Saudi Arabia's Ali al-Naimi, the most powerful and longest-serving of the group's oil ministers, it may have seemed like history was repeating itself.

There are several striking parallels between the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries' current situation and the period from 1997 to 1999, when the group lost control of the market and oil slipped to less than $10 a barrel. While investors may wonder whether markets will follow a similar trajectory this time, it's important to remember that Opec emerged from the crisis to see oil prices surge all the way to almost $150 a barrel. If the parallels hold, markets could be in for a wild ride.

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