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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

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Big Oil Stocks Crash As Crude Prices Tumble

Shares in the largest oil companies in Europe dropped to their lowest level in eight months on Tuesday, dragged down by across-the-board equity sell-offs in global markets and tumbling oil prices due to fears of oversupply and slowing economic growth.

Shares in Shell, Total, Eni, and Equinor were all down in the early afternoon in Europe on Tuesday, while Aker BP led the losses in the oil sector with more than a 9-percent decline.

Apart from the sector and global sell-offs, Shell was also dragged down by a report by Bloomberg, saying that the supermajor is in talks to buy Midland, Texas-based Endeavor Energy Resources for some US$8 billion, nearly half what Endeavor Energy Resources was hoping to get earlier this year. Exxon, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips have also considered bidding for Endeavor, but they have decided not to, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

The STOXX Europe 600 Oil & Gas index was down 1.5 percent in the early afternoon to its lowest level since early April this year.

Oil prices also plunged on Tuesday, on the back of the global equity sell-offs and continued concerns that the OPEC/non-OPEC cuts may not be enough to rebalance an oversupplied market, especially if fears of slowing global economic growth materialize.

At 08:25 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, WTI Crude was down below the $50 handle, having dropped 2.27 percent to $49.06, while Brent Crude prices were trading below the $60 threshold, dropping 2.01 percent to $58.41.

The stock sell-off comes at the start of the two-day Fed meeting which is widely expected to result in another interest rate hike on Wednesday.

“The missing ‘Santa Rally’ is becoming more and more an unexpected ‘Santa Crash’ with epicentre in the United States,” JCI Capital fund manager Alessandro Balsotti told Reuters, commenting on the global market sell-off.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • John Brown on December 18 2018 said:
    I have to say this crash in prices came sooner than I expected, but the reason is GREED! When prices for WTI went over $60 it was clear that was a sweet spot, but of course GREED kicked in and everyone decided why not $75, with predictions flow of $85, and or maybe even $100. It was always clear that there was plenty of oil and gas sloshing around the world, and to soak up some of the surplus required idling millions of barrels of capacity a day, even though Venezuela kept dropping, and Iran was being sanctioned. Every excuse was used to push up the prices, and of course they did so. Then of course world growth started taking a hit, the U.S. shale industry went into gold rush fever, and here we are. There really is no reason for prices to be over $30 but it would be best for the world if it would figure out WTI between $55 and $60 is probably a good spot. It allows folks to make money without leading to gold fever, and it won't kill global growth in that range, and is sustainable.
    The Saudis need to understand that Oil and Gas are now a commodity and a commodity more and more outside of their control and that of OPEC and Russia.
    We also want prices to be stable around $60 because it is in the interest of the world to keep moving more market share to renewables. Of course once the prices stabilize GREED will likely kick in again.

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