The price of Brent crude oil declined to a five-and-a-half-year low today due to concerns over excess global supplies and weak demand.

Reuters reported that Brent crude for February traded at $55.67, while US crude stood around $51.90 a barrel.

"Data released by Russia’s Energy Ministry revealed that the country’s oil production increased 0.7% to 10.58 million barrels per day in 2014."

Data released by Russia’s Energy Ministry revealed that the country’s oil production increased 0.7% to 10.58 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2014.

An oil ministry spokesman in Iraq said that the country’s December oil exports were the highest since 1980.

OPEC has decided not to cut production, despite a 50% drop in oil prices since June 2014.

Meanwhile, weak economic data from the US has also raised concerns on the state of the worldwide economy and the strength of oil demand.

The US factory sector saw growth at its slowest pace in six months in December 2014.

Newedge Japan commodity sales manager Yusuke Seta was quoted by Reuters as saying: "Oil demand is unlikely be robust this year when we look at the state of economies in China, Japan and Europe."

Libya’s National Oil Corporation (Noc) said that due to the country’s conflict, crude output has been reduced to approximately 380,000 bpd.