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Oil Prices Take Biggest One-Day Drop In 17 Years

Oil Prices Plummet; Biggest One-Day Drop in 17 Years; Concerns A Slowing U.S. Economy

Oil prices have plummeted amid concerns a slowing U.S. economy will decrease demand.

The price of crude oil in New York at one point fell more than $9 a barrel in trading in New York Tuesday, the biggest one-day drop for crude oil in 17 years.

It came as the chairman of the Federal Reserve told lawmakers the country faced the dual threat of inflation and slowing growth.

Oil eventually eased back up but still closed down 4.5 percent at $138.69 a barrel.

Also today, Brazil's state-run oil company, Petrobras, announced oil production had returned to normal in the Campos Basin.

Workers there began a five-day strike Monday, hoping to bring production to a near standstill.

The region accounts for 80 -percent of Brazil's crude oil output.

Meanwhile, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries says faltering economic growth in industrialized nations and an increase in conservation measures has led it to cut its forecast for global oil demand.

OPEC said today oil consumption would rise by just over one million barrels a day this year, 70,000 barrels a day less than initially forecast.

OPEC says the drop in demand would be the biggest since 2002.

OPEC also predicted slower growth for 2009.

Earlier today, oil prices in New York rose to near record-levels, as the U.S. dollar fell to a record low against the euro.

Oil prices hit a record high Friday of $147.27 a barrel in New York.

ENDS

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