SINGAPORE (Apr 21): Oil prices — as measured by May Futures of West Texas Intermediate expiring Tuesday afternoon April 21 Texas time — fell well below zero today. Indeed, at one point WTI crude oil for May delivery was selling at minus (that’s not a typo) US$37.63 per barrel. In effect, sellers were paying buyers US$37 per barrel to take their oil away. That was -300% change over Friday, the previous trading day.
Why would anyone actually pay someone to take their oil which was considered a fairly essential, and expensive, commodity not long ago?
Well, for one thing, because the world is now awash with just too much oil. So much that there is no place anywhere to store it. All the oil storage tanks, oil tankers, empty barrel are now full.