21 January 2016, Lagos – For the first time since 2003, the price of Brent crude, the world’s benchmark oil yesterday sold below $28 a barrel, America’s crude grade – West Texas Intermediate (WTI) $26.62 and OPEC basket grade $23.85 a barrel on Tuesday.
Despite over 25 per cent slump in oil price so far this year with the attendant pains and fears, oil drillers and producing nations have continued to pump more oil into an oversupplied market. Oil traders are concerned that the crude oil supply glut could last longer.
The world stock markets are declining. Nigerian stock market last week lost over N455 billion as stock prices failed to rally.
The extent of challenge before the government and the citizens can be explained in the concerns over the implementation of this year’s budget. Currently the government has proposed to borrow $1.8 trillion to fund the budget based on a benchmark of $38 a barrel. Today the price has dropped below $27 a barrel creating a shortfall of over $10 a barrel in the budget benchmark.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report that the world may soon drown in oversupply. Senior market analyst at Price Futures Group, Phil Flynn said there is also “a record short position in hedge funds and we have the promise of more Iranian oil on the world market. Add it all up and it’s causing the crude-oil market to crater around the globe.”