About 20 million barrels of oil - enough to satisfy 20% of the world's daily demand - are currently floating off the West Coast as demand for the commodity has plummeted amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Nearly three dozen tankers are parked between Long Beach and the San Francisco Bay Area with nowhere to go. The tankers are acting as impromptu storage for oil that has nowhere to go after several refineries in California have idled thanks to the lack of demand amid stay-at-home orders. Twenty-four of those are currently anchored off the shores of Southern California as the tankers wait their turn to unload at the Port of Long Beach.
Storage for oil has become so scarce, the price has plunged into negative territory for the first time. Industry experts also say it's possible the world will fill up every available place for storage - an event known in the oil industry as "tank tops" Bloomberg News reports. That would likely result in oil prices plunging to near zero in many parts of the world.
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