March was an absolute nightmare for the oil industry.
US oil prices crashed 54% in the month, touching levels unseen in 18 years.
That makes March, by far, the worst month since oil futures started trading on NYMEX in 1983.
The next closest, according to Refinitiv, was October 2008 when crude collapsed by 33% during the height of the financial crisis.
Brent crude, the world benchmark, similarly plunged 55% this March. That’s the worst on record going back to 1988.
The oil nightmare was brought on by a double whammy: shrinking demand and swelling supply.
The unprecedented drop in demand caused by coronavirus-related travel restrictions was the biggest negative for oil, which has lost two-thirds of its value since early January.
But the pain was exacerbated by the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, which has flooded the market with excess supply.
Gas prices have already plunged below $2 a gallon on average in the United States — and more declines are likely. Too bad most Americans are living under lockdown orders that prevent them from taking advantage of the cheap gas.