Too Much Oil: How a Barrel Came to Be Worth Less Than Nothing

Stanley Reed and  New York Times, April 20, 2020

Something bizarre happened in the oil markets on Monday: Prices fell so much that some traders paid buyers to take oil off their hands.

The price of the main U.S. oil benchmark fell more than $50 a barrel to end the day about $30 below zero, the first time oil prices have ever turned negative. Such an eye-popping slide is the result of a quirk in the oil market, but it underscores the industry’s disarray as the coronavirus pandemic decimates the world economy.


Estimates suggest that to be economically viable, fracking oil and gas requires oil prices to be aboive $30 – $50.  At an oil price of $120, fracking is very profitable.  WIth dropping pol prices, consumers celebrate but frackers scramble. Can Fracking Survive at $50 a Barrel?


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