OPEC might have lost its grip on controlling the oil markets because of increased production pouring out of American shale plays, said Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, who made a stop in Houston for a news conference on Monday.
In November, OPEC adjusted its production in an attempt to stabilize plunging oil prices. The move initially drove prices higher, pushing them as high as $54 a barrel before they began to retreat several weeks several weeks as go as U.S. production increased and created new worries about growing supplies. Oil settled at $48.85 a barrel in New York Monday, up $1.01.
The ability of U.S. drillers to respond quickly to higher prices has made it harder for The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to control the flow of oil, analysts have said.
“I’m a big believer in competition,” Perry said on Monday. “I think the market will drive itself without any undue influence by OPEC.”