Crude oil prices were heading Friday for around 20% weekly loss to post their largest weekly decline in 29 years due to coronavirus-related low demand coupled with the risk of growing oversupply.
Brent crude was trading at $34.43 per barrel at 1240 GMT on Friday for a 23.9% weekly decrease after the international benchmark ended last Friday at $45.27 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $33.64 a barrel at the same time for a 18.5% decline after last week's trade ended at $41.28 per barrel.
The last time that oil losses were seen at such a massive scale was during the Gulf War in the week between Jan. 14 and 18. Then Brent crude lost 36.4% and WTI plummeted by 38.9% when the U.S. and its allies stationed 580,000 troops in the Middle East against the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
Not only did supply concerns arise from this week's price collapse but also demand worries as rising coronavirus cases around the world continue to negatively impact global economic growth and overall oil demand.
On the supply side, Saudi Arabia-led OPEC and Russia-led non-OPEC failed last Friday in Vienna, Austria to curb their oil production levels against low demand which caused a massive price slump.
On top of that, Saudi Arabia announced Tuesday that it would provide its customers with 12.3 million bpd of crude oil starting from April 1.
The rising supply in April is set to add 2.6 million bpd of additional crude oil to the market on top of the country's oil production level of 9.7 million bpd in February.
The United Arab Emirates also said Wednesday that it is ready to increase its oil supply to over 4 million bpd in April, which is 1 million bpd more than its February level.
Furthermore, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak announced Tuesday that his country may boost production by 250,000-300,000 bpd in the short term.
By Ovunc Kutlu