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Global oil prices slump to 18-year low on COVID-19 outbreak, Saudi-Russia price war Updated: 2020-03-31 10:00:39 KST


U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude slipped more than six percent Monday, settling at just over 20 U.S. dollars a barrel a low not seen since February 2002.
Brent crude was down over 8-percent to some 22-dollars a barrel also a 18-year-low.
This, as mandated shutdowns over the coronavirus pandemic are taking a wrecking ball to demand for fuel and as Saudi Arabia and Russia engage in a bitter oil price war.
An official at Saudi Arabia's energy ministry said Monday that the kingdom plans to boost oil exports from May as domestic consumption has fallen because of the outbreak.
Riyadh had already announced it will sharply increase its oil production, after a three-year deal collapsed this month between OPEC and other producers, led by Russia.
Saudi Arabia has ordered its state-run oil company Aramco to supply some 12.3 million barrels a day from April.
Alarmed by the oil price war between the world's top producers, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last week,.. to press him to refrain from upping oil production.
The State Department said Pompeo focused on the need to maintain stability in global energy markets.
According to the White House on Monday, President Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin spoke over the phone and agreed on the importance of global energy markets regaining a degree of stability.
Trump and Putin also agreed to work together to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.
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