See? The dirty cadres who hawked all of SA’s oil are patriots after all
They must be celebrating a giant pat on the back courtesy of the collapse of the global oil price
Spare a thought for the dinosaurs. As if having their liquefied remains pumped out of the ground wasn’t bad enough, on Monday their ghosts had to endure the indignity of seeing the price of those remains fall to below zero for the first time since that asteroid arrived over the Yucatan Peninsula.
When trading halted on Monday, the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil had fallen to minus $37 a barrel, which meant that, at least in theory, oil suppliers were having to pay people R37 to take their product away.
The price soon recovered to the relative luxury of the mid-teens, but it did remind us, as if we needed reminding, that these are very strange days indeed. The global shutdown has reportedly reduced oil demand by about 30%, but production hasn’t slowed by the same amount. Dino-slush is still gushing up out of the ground, and having to be put in storage. According to the New York Times, there are about 4 billion barrels of the stuff sitting above ground, taking up space in tanks, reservoirs, basements, attics, spare bedrooms and car boots from Dallas to Dubai. That’s about 640 billion litres of oil, all pumped up with nowhere to go. ..