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This Week’s Market Buzz


• U.S. crude oil fell below $50 a barrel for the first time in more than a year. Oil's recent slide has shaved more than a third off its price. Crude fell more than 1 percent to as low as $49.41 a barrel. The last time oil closed below $50 was in Oct. 4, 2017. Concerns about oversupply have sent oil prices into a virtual freefall. Crude hit a four-year high above $76 a barrel less than two months ago.

• Now that it has reached the Minnesota Supreme Court, Minnesota Sands’ lawsuit against Winona County, Minn., is attracting a lot of outside attention. The League of Minnesota Cities, the Pacific Legal Foundation, Aggregate and Ready Mix of Minnesota and the Minnesota Industrial Sand Council and the Land Stewardship Project all plan to file friend-of-the-court amicus briefs in an attempt to represent the many people they believe could be affected by its outcome.

• Chesapeake Energy Corp. has entered into a long-term frac sand logistics deal to support its drilling operations in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming. The Oklahoma-based exploration and production company chose Denver-based Pronghorn Logistics to haul frac sand to their drilling sites in the region. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Proghorn reported that it will be providing frac sand management, logistics and well site services to Chesapeake.