Coronavirus, Price-War Push Oil to 17-year Low

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Oil slumped to a 17-year low as coronavirus lockdowns cascaded through the world’s largest economies, leaving the market overwhelmed by cratering demand and a ballooning surplus of crude.

Physical oil markets are struggling to store fuel, hit by a double whammy of virus restrictions eroding demand and a damaging war for market share between Saudi Arabia and Russia that has prices on track for the worst quarter on record.

OPEC nations aren’t giving support to a request from the group’s president for emergency consultations over tanking prices, according to a delegate.

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The world normally uses 100 million barrels of oil daily, but forecasters predict as much as a quarter of that has disappeared in just a few weeks. The plunge in consumption is without precedent since a steady flow of oil became essential to the global economy more than a century ago.

Global oil demand is in freefall and consumption may decline by as much as 20 million barrels a day, according to the International Energy Administration.

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