WTI faces lowest oil price level in more than a decade

WTI faces lowest oil price level in more than a decade

/ Financial News / Wednesday, 18 March 2020 12:05

Benchmark WTI oil slumped to the lowest level since 2003 to just above $25 per barrel as the coronavirus slashes global demand for crude.

WTI slid to $25.08 per barrel at one point before recovering slightly to trade at $25.55, down 5.19 percent. Brent North Sea oil was down 3.0 percent at $27.88 per barrel.

The two have lost almost 60% of their value since the beginning of the year.

The coronavirus pandemic and the drastic measures put in place throughout the world to counter its advance are severely penalizing demand for black gold, in a context of a price war between Riyadh and Moscow after the failure of their negotiations in early March at the last meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies.

“The downward pressure is likely to continue until Saudi Arabia and Russia become reasonable again,” said Carsten Fritsch of Commerzbank.

“This is certainly not the case at the moment,” he added.

Recently, Riyadh announced plans to increase its oil exports to more than 10 million barrels per day, putting additional pressure on prices. But not all countries are equipped to hold on for long at this low price level, fears shared by International Energy Agency and OPEC officials in a rare joint statement.

Among them is Iraq, which “urges another Opec+ meeting (...) to discuss immediate measures to help balance the oil market,” reported RBC's Al Stanton.

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