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Plunging Oil Prices Are Big Boost for US Drivers

Oil prices have plunged near a three-month low amid poor growth prospects, but U.S. drivers may be the biggest winners of the recent selloff.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Oil prices have plunged 3 percent to a three-month low today, falling below $86 a barrel to the lowest price since July 13.

RBOB gasoline futures have fallen to a four-month low, plunging 3 percent Tuesday and nearly 12 percent in the past two weeks. Meanwhile, the national average for retail gasoline is $3.65 a gallon, down 12 cents from a week ago.

Even California, which recorded the highest retail gas price on record two weeks ago, has seen pump prices fall nearly 27 cents since then to $4.40 a gallon today. Some areas in Ohio, Oklahoma and Missouri have gas prices under $3.25 a gallon. (Read More: Get Oil and Natural Gas Prices Here)

Traders say the oil price slide is linked to the broad-based drop in equities, following poor earnings releases from industrial companies like DuPont and Caterpillar .

U.S. oil prices have nearly the doubled the losses of Brent crude, in percentage terms, with Brent crude falling less than 2 percent to below $108 a barrel. Domestic production here in the U.S. stands at a 16-year high, while North Sea Brent crude production remains rather tight, though many refineries are coming out of maintenance season.

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  • Patti Domm

    Patti Domm is CNBC Executive Editor, News, responsible for news coverage of the markets and economy.

  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

  • CNBC's Senior Personal Finance Correspondent

  • JeeYeon Park is a writer for CNBC.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC

  • Rick Santelli joined CNBC Business News as an on-air editor in 1999, reporting live from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade.

  • Senior Producer at CNBC's Breaking News Desk.