Event blog: Negative oil forecast at WPC 2020

16:22 PM | April 21, 2020 | Lyn Tattum

I never cease to be amazed at how ahead of the curve we are at IHS Markit, as proven again just three working days ago, when our global oil expert and IHS Markit vice president, Jim Burkhard, projected that oil prices could go negative as US storage capacity fills up. Monday, the May contract for WTI crude fell to -$37.63.

In our Strategic Dialogue Live Forum Session on Economy, Geopolitics, Energy, and Chemicals, broadcast on 16 April as part of the WPC 2020 Online series, we also heard from IHS Markit chief economist Nariman Behravesh how US second-quarter growth could fall 27%, and all figures (see below) are subject to downward revision before stabilizing.

Carlos Pascual, senior vice president, global energy and international affairs, warns about a precarious world order—as fear for health and economy drives a backlash to globalization, supply chains become vulnerable, borders close, and global institutions relied upon for intermediation become weaker.

Mark Eramo notes that amid energy transition, chemicals play a bigger role in the world of oil, and even as the health crisis spurs a shift back toward some uses of plastics for sanitary reasons, the journey to carbon-neutral technology, biotech solutions, and product circularity will not retreat.

Burkhard referenced the Oil Terminal Analytics product from our IHS Markit Midstream Essentials team, which documents every oil and liquids storage tank in the world, located in its industry infrastructure context. In a world of demand and supply inversions, storage has become the determinant of price.

Read more about the session here. And click click here to view CW's comprehensive coverage of WPC 2020.