Plunging Oil Prices Are Big Boost for US Drivers

Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 | 11:38 AM ET

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)

Commodities Tomorrow: US Oil Price Below $86
CNBC's Sharon Epperson discusses the day's activity in the commodities markets and looks at where oil and precious metals are likely headed tomorrow.

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.

Follow Sharon on Twitter: @sharon_epperson



  • 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.

  • Sharon Epperson is CNBC's senior commodities and 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.

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