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One Corner of U.S. Oil Market Has Already Seen Negative Prices

  • Obscure Wyoming crude grade bid at negative 19 cents a barrel
  • Refiners across U.S. reduce runs as fuel demand craters
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In an obscure corner of the American physical oil market, crude prices have turned negative -- producers are actually paying consumers to take away the black stuff.

The first crude stream to turn upside down was Wyoming Asphalt Sour, a dense oil used mostly to produce paving bitumen. Mercuria Energy Group Ltd., a trading house, bid negative 19 cents per barrel in mid-March for the crude, effectively asking producers to pay for the luxury of getting rid of their output.