Brent crude oil dived below the threshold of $20 per barrel on Tuesday as the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to ramp up oil oversupply amid low global consumption.
The international benchmark fell to as low as $18.02 per barrel, marking its lowest level since February 2002, at 0935 GMT on Tuesday for a 29.27% daily loss after it closed Monday at $25.48 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was trading at $6.95 a barrel at the same time for a 41.88% daily loss after it ended the previous day at $11.96 per barrel.
WTI crude oil fell Monday into negative territory for the first time in history. The price of WTI under the futures contract, which expires Tuesday, fell to as low as -$37.63 by plummeting more than -290%, indicating that the massive oversupply against low demand is forcing suppliers to pay buyers to unload their inventory.
Due to coronavirus-related low oil demand and cumulative rising supply, oil producers are desperately seeking additional storage, which is rapidly running out around the world.
OPEC+ oil producing nations agreed on April 12 to cut their total oil production starting from next month -- a decision that came a month late when they previously met in Vienna, Austria on March 6.
The one-month delay to curb output, on top of implementing cuts from May 1 onwards, has left the global oil market with an excess of supply to add to the glut, which in turn has dramatically pushed down crude prices.
By Ovunc Kutlu