Crude oil prices plunged under $25 a barrel for the first time since 2003 in London and dropped 24% in New York, after Saudi Arabia’s announcement to keep record high production over the coming months, according to Bloomberg.
For the last 10 days, Riyadh has issued nearly daily statements raising the stakes in its shock-and-awe battle with Moscow, first announcing massive price discounts and output.
“What we are seeing here is essentially the atomic bomb equivalent in the oil markets,” said Louise Dickson, an analyst at Rystad Energy AS. “With each day there seems to be yet another trap door lying beneath oil prices, and we expect to see prices continue to roil until a cost equilibrium is reached and production is shut in.”
It is worth noting that Saudi Arabia has announced that it is aiming to hike oil exports from April to May, targeting a record of more than 10 million barrels per day (mmbbl/d).
Oil is now cheaper than any time during the global financial crisis, when the world economy largely came to a halt for a few days. Demand is in free fall, with some traders saying it could drop by more than 10% compared with last year.
Brent crude price was down 12%, at $25.25 a barrel after dropping as low as $24.72, which is lowest price since 2003, Reuters reported.
According to Reuters, Goldman Sachs forecasts a fall in Brent prices as low as $20 in Q2 2020. Rystad Energy projects a year-on-year decline in demand of 2.8 mmbbl/d, or 2.8%, this year.