Oil price Below Zero for First Time in History
The coronavirus pandemic has caused oil demand to drop so rapidly that the world is running out of room to store barrels.
At the same time, Russia and Saudi Arabia flooded the world with excess supply. That double black swan has caused oil prices to collapse to levels that make it impossible for US shale oil companies to make money.
US crude for May delivery turned negative on Monday -- something that has never happened since NYMEX oil futures began trading in 1983. It was easily the oil market's worst day on record. US crude for June delivery is still trading above $20 a barrel — but even that's disastrous. "$30 is already quite bad, but once you get to $20 or even $10, it's a complete nightmare," said Artem Abramov, head of shale research at Rystad Energy. Many oil companies took on too much debt during the good times. Some of them won't be able to survive this historic downturn.
Oil prices fell below $0 as demand plummets and America runs out of room to store barrels of crude.