The Coronavirus has unsurprisingly struck oil markets hard in 2020, estimated to have wiped out 20% of China’s crude demand, and its timing could pose a longer-term threat to US oil producers and investors that were counting on shale plays to become profitable soon. Bankruptcies surged in 2019, even as crude prices were rising, and shale producers managed to breakeven in the second quarter of the year. However, it appears any kind of profits for the oil and gas frackers who continue to drill more wells will have to wait. For some, it’s already too late, and for others, all eyes should still be on potential political disruptions from this year’s US Presidential election.
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