Oil’s dramatic collapse leaves the industry over a barrel

World

Oil’s dramatic collapse leaves the industry over a barrel

The last time crude was this cheap was in 1870, but for some storage operators, it’s jackpot time

Ed Clowes

For hedge fund manager Joe Mares, the apocalyptic oil crash was historic in more ways than one. His family has worked in the oil industry for nearly 100 years and Mares has spent his entire career investing in the energy markets.

But a lifetime of familiarity with the world’s most important good was still no preparation for what happened on April 20. “I can’t say I was smart enough to know it was going to go negative,” Mares says. “But we knew it was going to go low.”

In the end, the May contract for West Texas Intermediate futures, considered the benchmark for US oil prices, made history by closing at -$37.63. The oil market has never seen negative pricing. “I have been involved in energy my whole career, and before that my dad and granddad worked in the industry,” Mares says. “I try to take a long-term view and I measure long-term in decades, not years.”..

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