Qatar energy minister says OPEC is watching oil market closely as prices continue to tumble

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Qatar's energy minister says OPEC is monitoring the drop in oil prices closely following a months-long slide that has left crude trading at its lowest point in more than five years.

Energy and Industry Minister Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada told reporters in Doha on Tuesday that OPEC is "watching the market closely," but he gave no indication the bloc would change course on current output.

The 12-member OPEC, which includes Qatar, decided to keep its production target unchanged at its most recent meeting late last month. Oil prices have continued to fall since. They settled Monday below $56 a barrel, their lowest price since the U.S. was still in recession in the spring of 2009.

Al-Sada was speaking at the end of a meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum.