“Oil prices were in freefall on Sunday after Saudi Arabia announced a stunning discount in oil prices — of $6 to $8 per barrel — to its customers in Asia, the United States and Europe. Benchmark Brent crude oil futures dove 30% in early trading Sunday night before recovering somewhat to a drop of 22%.
Saudi Arabia, the world's second-largest producer, this weekend also said it will actually boost oil production instead of cutting it to stem falling prices, in a dramatic reversal in policy from just two days ago.
The benchmark Brent oil price had already plunged 9.4%, to $45.27 per barrel, on Friday. The drop came after Saudi Arabia, the rest of OPEC and Russia failed to agree on production cuts to combat falling prices due to fears that the coronavirus epidemic will halt world economic growth. Oil prices were down more than 30% this year before Sunday's collapse.
U.S. consumers are likely to see lower prices at the gas pump, but American oil producers — who lead the world in output — could be hurt by the oil price slide.
Economies from China to Italy have ground to a halt as quarantines shut down factories and demand for products and services craters.“