crude oil goes negative

April 21, 2020 /// issue no. 112

Possibly my favorite headline of all time: “Oil Rebounds From Record Wipeout With Prices Edging Above Zero”. Crude oil dropped to nearly -$40 a barrel yesterday. That’s not a hyphen. It’s a negative symbol.

The TL;DR is that oil prices faced a perfect storm. Saudi Arabia and Russia have been engaged in a trade war that has flooded the market with supply. In the meantime, the continuing covid-crisis has tanked demand and put storage tanks at capacity. The U.S.’s main storage facility in Oklahoma is nearly full and oil is being kept at sea on tankers. Additionally, futures expiration for May deliveries is today, April 21st. Traders who are purely interested in price apparently don’t have the capacity to accept delivery of thousands of barrels of crude oil. They desperately needed an out yesterday.

Our multi-car family has gone from operating at minimum 2 cars 6 days out of the week to driving 1 car 5 miles round trip. I am tempted to go fill up all of the tanks and drop in fuel stabilizer. The time to do that might be in a month or so when pump prices start to decline as a result of futures prices. If you’re wondering if the local Chevron will pay you to take gas, don’t forget you’ll still have to pay taxes. Future President of the United States, Governor Gavin Newsom recently made that 76.2 cents a gallon in his home state of California. I look forward to filling up the family SUV for less than $15.

Coffee time,

daily automotive addiction.