Crude oil prices fell sharply today. Saudi Arabia cut its prices to preserve its U-S market share, which has been hit hard by domestic production from recent years.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell by two-point-seven percent to 82.46-a-barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude fell by the same percentage to 76.69-a-barrel, its lowest mid-day price in over three years. That's sure to keep gas prices falling. The Wisconsin Triple-"A" says the average statewide price of regular unleaded is 30-cents cheaper than a month ago at 3.03-a-gallon. Gas Buddy-Dot-Com reports Wisconsin prices as low as 2.78 today in Kenosha. Chicago oil analyst Jim Ritterbusch tells the Journal Sentinel that Saudi Arabia's oil exports to the U-S are at their lowest since 2009 He says the country appears to be fighting back to keep its share in the midst of increasing oil output from Texas and North Dakota. Wisconsin is helping those domestic oil producers by providing frac-sand that lubricates U-S oil drilling machines. Ritterbusch says the payoff is lower prices when you fill up. He believes there's more room for price cuts. Some experts, though, caution that the falling prices are a signal of a weaker U-S economy on the horizon amid slower growth in Europe and China.