Plunging Petroleum Prices

The recession brings added relief from the high cost of crude

After years of heading mainly up and up, the price of oil has lately been heading down and down. Conservation and the weakening world economy have created a continuing supply glut, forcing major oil producers to lop dollars off their prices in order to attract buyers.

The downward pressure is apparent on the spot market, where relatively small quantities of oil are traded on a day-to-day basis. The cost of crude in these sales has often been the most sensitive barometer for world oil prices. During 1979 and 1980 leaping spot market...

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