Oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico
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Opec losing control of oil prices due to US fracking

4 December 2013 Last updated at 10:05 GMT

Until recently, there were concerns the world would run out of oil and gas - but the development of hydraulic fracking has diminished those fears.

The US is producing more oil than it imports and this is seriously denting oil-producing countries' export earnings.

For many years, the Opec cartel was able to manipulate prices through their grip on supply - however, many forecasts now suggest that in Europe the price of Brent crude may soon fall below $100 a barrel.

Nigel Cassidy reports.