Amid lockdowns and shutdowns, U.S. crude oil plunges to 18-year low

by Daniel Payne · Mar 18th, 2020 1:07 pm

U.S. crude oil prices dropped to a near-two-decade low this week, driven by the rapid spread of the coronavirus and the shutdowns and lockdowns that have followed in its wake.

The sharply receding prices were also driven in part by Saudi Arabia's flooding of the market with crude oil, leading to what one industry executive said was a unique scenario in oil markets in which demand flattened on one end while supply was greatly ramped up on the other.

U.S. crude oil prices on Wednesday stood at just under $23 a barrel, the lowest they've been since March of 2002. Industry experts say demand may fall a staggering eight to nine million barrels per day through the end of March.


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