World oil prices fell as low as $118 a barrel in Tuesday's trading,
with investors apparently speculating that the economic slowdown in the
United States and some other nations will cut demand for energy.
At one point, the price of a barrel of oil was down more than $2 from the previous day's close.
Several other factors also favored falling prices, including estimates that Tropical Storm Edouard will not seriously disrupt oil production, increased output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and some gains in the value of the dollar.
Declining crude oil prices are cutting the prices that U.S. motorists pay for fuel. A motorists organization (AAA) reports the retail price of gasoline has fallen about six cents to a current nationwide average of nearly $1.02 per liter or $3.87 a gallon.