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         Oil collapses by another 24% to $20. It hasn't been this low since 2002

         The average price of gas in Iowa drops below $2 per gallon



Oil collapses by another 24% to $20. It hasn't been this low since 2002


By Matt Egan, CNN Business

March 18, 2020


New York (CNN Business)The nightmare in the oil industry keeps getting worse. It's now facing the weakest oil price since the first term of President George W. Bush.


Intensifying recession fears drove US oil prices down a staggering 24% Wednesday to $20.37 a barrel. That's the lowest level since February 2002.


Selling escalated throughout the day, with 9% morning losses more than doubling by the afternoon. The acceleration reflects a growing realization of just how much the coronavirus outbreak is slamming the world economy.


The relentless selling is being driven by a crushing combination of excess supply and shrinking demand. And it's dealing a crushing blow to America's once-booming oil industry.


The coronavirus pandemic has caused global travel to collapse, eating into the world's once-insatiable thirst for oil, which powers the economy.

Countless flights have been canceled. The cruise industry is at a standstill. Highways are empty. And many factories are dark.


At the same time, Russia and Saudi Arabia picked a terrible time to step away from roles as price stabilizers.


Russia refused to cut production, in a bid to drown America's high-cost shale producers in a sea of cheap crude. Saudi Arabia responded by slashing prices and ramping up production -- exactly the opposite of what was needed to balance the market.


"With each day there seems to be yet another trapdoor lying beneath oil prices," Louise Dickson, analyst at Rystad Energy, wrote in an emailed comment. "What we are seeing here is essentially the atomic bomb equivalent in the oil markets."


Demand is collapsing at breathtaking pace ...


Good news: Cheap gas. Bad news: Looming bankruptcies ...


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The average price of gas in Iowa drops below $2 per gallon


Staff and Wire Reports, Des Moines Register (IA)

March 18, 2020


Iowa's gas prices have dropped below $2 a gallon, on average, reflecting a national decline due to the coronavirus outbreak.


The latest AAA gas survey shows Iowa's average price for a gallon of regular unleaded fell 17.9 cents in the last week, to $1.997.


In Iowa metros, average prices ranged from $2.147 in Council Bluffs to $1.834 in Cedar Rapids. In metro Des Moines, the price was $2.034, down from $2.182 last week.


The national average price fell 12.8 cents per gallon to an average of $2.217 in the last week. That's 23.4 cents lower per gallon than a month ago, and 32.8 cents less per gallon than a year ago, AAA reported.


The nation's lowest average gas price was $1.869 in Oklahoma, while the highest was $3.523 in Hawaii...