NewsCovering Louisiana


UPDATE: Oil prices below zero for the first time ever

Posted at 1:23 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 14:52:01-04

NEW YORK (AP) - Oil prices plunged below zero on Monday as demand for energy collapses amid the coronavirus pandemic and traders didn't want to get stuck owning crude oil with nowhere to store it.

A barrel of benchmark U.S. oil for May delivery fell to negative $3.70 per barrel. While the foray into negative territory was largely due to technical reasons, prices for other oil contracts also plummeted as storage facilities for crude come close to hitting their limits. The S&P 500 was down 0.9%, giving up some of its big gains following its first back-to-back weekly gain since February.


An oil price collapse Monday to near $2 for May and lack of storage capacity could halt Louisiana's oil and gas production, the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association tells our media partners at The Advocate.

The oil and gas industry faces price and lack of storage issues from the glut of oil building up because of the global economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic and reduced demand for gasoline and jet fuel as airplanes are largely grounded, the newspaper reports.

The price of crude oil futures for May dropped to $10.63 on Monday morning then was hovering $2. The price hasn't dropped to single digits since 1973. Crude oil prices have declined by more than 80% since the beginning of the year, the Advocate reports.

To read The Advocate's story, click here.