Oil prices approach $18 a barrel


After dropping below the $20 mark on Wednesday, the oil markets dropped even deeper by the close of trading on Friday with West Texas Intermediate falling another $1.60, reaching $18.27 a barrel.

Brent crude in London was up 26 cents at $28.08 while natural gas prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 7 cents to hit $1.75 per million BTU.

It was the lowest oil prices since 2002 as the oil and gas industry is facing a grim forecast due to a record tumble in global oil demand this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of the pandemic and less demand for gasoline, the U.S. saw a 12th straight week of growing crude supplies.

Chesapeake Energy’s reverse stock split raised prices but they continue to fall and on Friday dropped $1.12 to $14.45 a share while ConocoPhillips added $4.19 to hit $35.26.

Devon was up $1.12 at $9.22 while ONEOK rose $2.81 at $29.38. Phillips 66 jumped $6 a share to hit $59.53 while American Electric Power added $2.33 at $86.38 per share.