The West Texas Intermediate is trending in the negative for the first time in its history.
On Monday, the WTI was hovering around minus $40 U.S. a barrel.
Tim Pickering, CIO of Auspice Capital, tells Mix News this is due to its contract expiring and the struggle to find buyers.
He says this doesn’t have an immediate impact on the Western Canadian Select, however, it will down the road.
“Right now, WTI for June is trading around $21 and the differential for June is about $11.75, so a discount, so that means a $9.25 U.S. per barrel price. That’s obviously a very low price and that’s the most alarming.”
WCS averaged around $4 U.S. a barrel on Monday.
Despite not being in the negatives, this is still a concerning number.
These prices haven’t been under $10 U.S. since 1999.
As for solutions, Pickering says there are no short-term fixes.
Whether it be more production cuts or an immediate end to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector will need time to heal.
“They don’t solve the immediate problem and that’s why you see the May contract and June contract get so weak.”
One idea being thrown around is tariffs on non-American oil.
This would make it more expensive for jurisdictions to buy international crude.
“If we can look at finding ways to support our energy industry in North America, both in the U.S. and Canada, that makes sense,” added Pickering.
However, he adds this will have a more long-term impact.