Crude oil futures fell more than $3 a barrel to $84.06 a barrel Thursday. Oil was hammered Thursday by relentless anxiety about oversupply and waning global demand, sending Brent and West Texas Intermediate hurtling to levels unseen since 2012.
Oil was under pressure as euphoria over the U.S. Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting appeared to evaporate. The jitters ricocheted across markets, and sent Wall Street reeling as investors feared the central bank was becoming more pessimistic about domestic growth.
Yet the proximate cause for the market’s worries is surging U.S. oil supplies. The world’s largest economy has rapidly become one of the world’s largest producers of oil on the heels of a shale revolution. The U.S. is producing just shy of 9 million barrels a day, up more than 70 percent since 2008, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.