Over the last month, we have seen the price of Crude oil benchmarks in the U.S. and Brent futures get destroyed. Both benchmarks lost right around two-thirds of their value during the first quarter and roughly 55% of their value during March alone.
The massive price destruction occurred because of many reasons. The first and foremost is the Coronavirus pandemic and how the world is fighting the spread of the virus. Shutting borders to foreign nationals, implementing 'Stay at home Orders,' and recommending 'social distancing' is all leading to a massive reduction in the demand for oil on a worldwide scale. Cruise ships aren't leaving ports, airlines have slashed their number of flights, both public busses and school busses are not operating, and the average person isn't driving their vehicles. We have already begun to see reports from around the world how pollution levels are declining due to these modes of transportation, essentially stopping.
The second reason the price of oil crumbled was because of the "price war' that is currently ragging between Russia and Saudi Arabia. The two countries were the main reasons the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) couldn't agree on production cuts following the softening demand after the Coronavirus began spreading on a massive scale. Russia and OPEC's de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, disagreed on how much each country would reduce production in order to help stabilize the price of oil around the world.
The price war has caused the Saudi's to increase production from 9.7 million barrels a day in February to a targeted more than 12 million barrels a day in April. Thus far, they have held up their threats. As of early April, the first wave of crude was already heading toward Europe, and the U.S. Saudi Arabia hired extra supertankers in March. Those ships are positioned near oil terminals preparing to be filled. Continue reading "Oil Just Posted Its Worst Monthly/Quarterly Loss Ever!"