Apr 22, 2020, 7:00 PM
“We’re in a deflationary moment that surpasses anything seen in most people’s lifetimes,” proclaimed a New York Times byline on Tuesday, the morning after oil prices went negative. The novel coronavirus has wreaked unprecedented havoc on the global economy, shutting down entire industrial sectors and bringing countries across the world to a halt as the global community shelters in place to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Economists have warned that the fallout is going to be the largest economic downturn that we have seen in our lifetimes, but few could have foreseen the absurdity of negative oil prices.
While the COVID-19 situation is totally unprecedented it’s impossible to say what will happen next for oil markets, some experts think that oil is poised for a major comeback. Even though oil prices are lower than they have ever been, “one energy fund thinks $100 a barrel is achievable,” reported the Midland Reporter-Telegram earlier this week. At the time of the report, oil was only at an 18-year low rather than an all-time low. With too much oil and not enough places to put it, Cushing may reach storage limits by mid-May, a market dislocation that could portend the next leg of a price rout.”