Trump Eyes Saudi Oil Import Ban, SPR Fill as Prices Go Negative
|Date | 21-04-2020 - 09:53 AM||Article Type | Stock Markets||Region | World|
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said he’ll look into a proposal to prevent Saudi Arabian oil from unloading in the U.S. and that he wants to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve after crude prices fell into negative territory.
“This is a great time to buy oil,” Trump said in a White House press conference Monday night. He said he wants either permission from Congress to purchase oil for the reserve or will allow companies to use its 75 million barrels of spare capacity to store crude.
Trump also said he would look into a proposal by Republican Senator Kevin Cramer to stop Saudi crude shipments currently on their way to the U.S. “We certainly have plenty of oil, so I’ll take a look at that,” he said.
West Texas Intermediate oil, the U.S. benchmark, plunged to minus $37.63 a barrel Monday, the most extreme price reaction to the severe drop in global demand amid an unrelenting supply glut.
Trump called the unprecedented slump below zero “largely a financial squeeze,” though the situation is also rooted in physical practicality: the world is running out of places to store crude oil. The crash accelerated as May futures are set to expire Tuesday, forcing traders to unload contracts to avoid taking physical delivery because storage space is almost maxed out. The June contract, by comparison, settled at $20.43 a barrel.
“It’s more of a financial thing than an oil situation,” he said, adding that it will be “very short term.”