Oil prices fell below $26 a barrel Friday despite a refusal by Saddam Hussein to withdraw Iraqi forces from Kuwait by Jan. 15.
Traders instead withdrew from oil futures positions to avoid losses if the gulf situation changes over the market's four-day Christmas weekend.
Light sweet crude oil for February delivery fell 47 cents to $25.92 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the third straight daily decline. Crude oil prices dropped 63 cents in the week.