by C. Rotter, March 9, 2020 in WUWT
Oil prices dropped Monday as Saudi Arabia and Russia haggle over whether to reduce crude production amid fears that coronavirus will hamper air travel and potentially wreck the global economy.
Prices fell into the $30s as the Saudis push for a cut in output to prop up prices, while Russia went the other way, and decided to infuse the market with hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil, according to The Washington Post. Moscow is worried that the U.S. will use shale oil to take advantage if Saudi Arabia ease off production.
Basement-low oil prices could substantially impact oil companies and the global markets, which are already being hurt by fears related to coronavirus. Brent crude dropped to $35 per barrel; and the price of West Texas Intermediate crude fell to $32 from $41 per barrel, a four-year low.
“From the point of view of Russian interests, this deal [to cut production] is simply meaningless,” Mikhail Leontiev, a spokesman for the Russian oil giant Rosneft, told a Russian media outlet Sunday night.
He said the U.S. would be sure to step up shale production if production is cut.(RELATED: REPORT: Chinese Censors Jumped In To Suppress Online Messages Warning About Coronavirus Spread)