Saudi Arabia on Monday cut the price it charges for its oil in the U.S., prolonging a price war to regain market share lost to American shale producers.
The move came after the U.S. West Texas Intermediate oil price benchmark earlier briefly fell below $50 a barrel—a level not seen since April 2009.
In a list of official selling prices sent to oil buyers, Saudi Arabia’s state oil company Saudi Aramco cut its light oil prices to the U.S. by 60 cents a barrel for February delivery, the latest in a long series of monthly price cuts.
But Aramco also raised its light oil prices in Asia by 60 cents a barrel for delivery next month, a trend that started with December shipments after a four-month decrease.
Saudi Arabia, which is the world’s largest oil exporter, convinced the rest of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to keep its production ceiling unchanged in November, arguing the group should fight for market share rather than defending oil price—a move that led to a sharp drop in global oil prices.