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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery plunged $10.15 to $31.13 on the New York Merc, while Brent for May lost $10.91 to $34.36 (all figures in this para U.S.), as oil prices suffered their worst day since the 32-per-cent plunge on Jan. 17, 1991 -- the first day of Operation Desert Storm in Iraq. Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $13.77 to WTI, up from a discount of $13.90. Natural gas for April added seven cents to $1.78. The TSX energy index lost 27.76 points to close at 74.20, its first time below 100 since 2001 and by far the lowest level since its launch in 2000.
"I will keep you wondering," the Saudi Energy Minister said Friday after being asked if the Russian-led collapse of OPEC+ would prompt Saudi Arabia to boost its oil production. At least the wait did not last long. Global oil prices dropped as Saudi Arabia slashed its crude selling prices and signalled a return to higher, perhaps even record levels of production, a throwback to the days when these price wars were regular sport. At around $30 (U.S) a barrel, oil prices are roughly half of where they started the year, and Goldman Sachs says it would not be surprised if they hit $20 (U.S.). The supply skirmish is being exacerbated by a drop in demand as the coronavirus outbreak continues to stall economic activity around the world. Just this morning, citing the outbreak, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted that global oil demand will contract in 2020 for the first time since 2009.
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