Crude oil prices retreated further in Monday trading after Saudi Arabia again defended its insistence on keeping production levels static.

Oil prices have shed close to half of their value since June as markets became skewed toward the supply side. U.S. oil production is around 9 million barrels per day, while imports into North America are in decline. That, coupled with weak demand elsewhere in the world, has pushed oil prices to their lowest point in roughly five years.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in November opted to keep production static at around 30 million barrels per day, saying it wanted the market, and not producers, to determine the floor price for crude oil.

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