Barrel of US oil nosedives below $0 in historical first

The price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil sharply curtailed Monday, falling into negative territory for the first time in history as demand continues to collapse on measures meant to keep individuals at home amid the coronavirus pandemic

Barrel of US oil nosedives below $0 in historical first

WASHINGTON

The price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil sharply curtailed Monday, falling into negative territory for the first time in history as demand continues to collapse on measures meant to keep individuals at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The price for a barrel of oil under the futures contract, which expires Tuesday, fell as low as -$37.63 after opening at $17.73, a dip of more than -290%. That would seem to indicate that there is such a glut of supply relative to demand that suppliers would have to pay to unload their inventory.

The contract is for oil that will be delivered in May, but a contract for June deliveries that will expire May 19 saw a barrel settle around $20.

The international benchmark Brent crude also settled around $25.

In addition to global efforts that have kept people from leaving their homes, a since-ended feud between Saudi Arabi-led OPEC and Russia flooded international oil markets with excessive supply as producers have drawn down supply