One More Coronavirus Victim: The Price of Oil

Oil producers have been their own worst enemy over the last several years as higher production in the U.S. drove prices lower. To combat falling prices, OPEC and a group led by Russia, collectively known as OPEC+, implemented production quotas. It worked, pushing prices near $70. But Americans kept producing, taking market share from OPEC+ and pushing prices lower.

In the last two years, the U.S. became the largest energy producer in the world and an oil exporter.

With more oil supply and a weak global economy, oil prices remained low. And then came the coronavirus, which could cut Chinese oil consumption by 20% for as long as the contagion lasts. Once again, the price of oil is under pressuer.

OPEC+ is considering a meeting February 14-15 to discuss cutting production again, perhaps by as much as 500,000 barrels per day.  

That would be just fine with American producers, who will take more of their market share.


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