This Week’s Market Buzz

• Oil prices are trending higher on news of Saudi supply cuts to Asia. Oil's gains came despite government data showing a bigger-than-expected weekly build in U.S. crude and fuel inventories. Brent crude futures were up $1.60, or 3 percent, at $55.24 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were up $1.53, or 3 percent, at $52.35 a barrel.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

• The possibility of a renewed demand for western Wisconsin’s frac sand in 2017 was discussed on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The West Side” program on Dec. 12 on 88.3 WHWC-FM/ Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM/ River Falls. Host Rich Kremer was joined by guests Rich Budinger, operations manager for Fairmont Santrol, and Samir Nangia, a director of consulting with IHS Energy Insight. With oil prices on the rise once again, some experts are saying the resulting increase in drilling will bring the demand for frac sand back to the level it was at in 2014. In preparation for this renewed demand, companies including Hi-Crush Proppants, Superior Silica Sands and Fairmont Santrol have begun to add resources and rehire workers at facilities across western Wisconsin. Listen to the report here.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

• The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reached a deal to cut back on oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day to raise global prices. OPEC nations currently produce about 33.7 million barrels of oil per day. Under the deal, they’ll bring that down to 32.5 million barrels per day, with Saudi Arabia, Iraq, UAE and Kuwait making the biggest cuts. Global oil prices rose nearly 9 percent on the news, with Brent crude rising from $46 per barrel up to $51 per barrel.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

Clayton County, Iowa, supervisors have given initial approval to the expansion of a Pattison Sand Co. sand-mining operation, according to Radio Iowa. The board unanimously voted to rezone 746 acres near Clayton, Iowa, from agricultural to heavy industrial use. The rezoning requires at least one more reading and affirmative board vote to take effect. The board imposed five restrictions, including that the company would be responsible for any water well damage that could be attributed to the mining.

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