Only three months ago, oil was at an all-time high of nearly $150 a barrel. But the slowdown in the global economy and the resulting drop in demand have pushed prices down by nearly half. Now oil is trading below $72 a barrel.
It's a relief for oil consumers, but it's painful for oil-producing nations. Some Middle Eastern countries could find themselves in a financial bind if oil prices fall too low.
Ministers from the the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are holding an emergency meeting this week to discuss slashing output in the hopes that less oil on world markets will boost prices.