Global energy prices extended losses on Tuesday as OPEC showed no signs of agreeing to a production cut, and Goldman Sachs said that without cuts, oil could fall below $40 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery fell 3.8% lower to about $45.29 a barrel.
"Subject to the usual modeling caveats, our analysis suggests that as of Monday's close, Brent futures are reflecting a 30% probability of a deal being reached," Goldman Sachs noted on Tuesday.
The bank said that without a deal oil prices could fall as much as $6 per barrel, based on an analysis of the option market, but were unlikely to move below $40 a barrel for an extended period of time. An agreement to curb OPEC production to a target by 32.5 million barrels a day could boost prices into the low $50s per barrel.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, fell 3.7% to $46.44 per barrel.
The slump reversed gains made over the past two days as traders react to signs that OPEC members are struggling to agree the terms of a production cut just one day ahead of the deadline for a deal.
OPEC's No. 2 and No. 3 producers, Iraq and Iran, failed to resolve differences with Saudi Arabia over plans to curb production as of Tuesday afternoon. Iran's Oil Minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, has ruled out cuts from the world's sixth-largest producer on Tuesday.
"We will leave the level of production (where) we decided in Algeria," Zanganeh said Tuesday, according to Reuters. Instead, Iran instead wants OPEC's leading producer, Saudi Arabia, to cut oil output to 9.5 million barrels per day, Reuters reported. Saudi Arabia has said it was prepared to curb production by 0.5 million barrels per day from current levels of 10.5 million barrels.