Oil’s brief dip into negative values this month was the result of fear that storage space would run out and buyers would have nowhere to put their oil amid the current pandemic. While widely reported, this sudden plunge is a distraction. Prices are now back above zero, but futures contracts (the price of oil delivery in the coming months) are expected to linger at unprecedented levels.
What’s important to take away from this sensational plunge in value is that the COVID-19 crisis has placed the fossil fuel sector in such a precarious state that it may accelerate the arrival of peak demand for all fossil fuels. This provides an opportunity to plan a Canadian transition to a green economy within upcoming recovery initiatives.