The falling price for a drum of oil has already proven costly for oil producers in southern Illinois.

The price of oil has plummeted from $40.25 just two weeks ago to $20 at time of press, a decline of $20.25 in the short span. The drop can be attributed to everything from international politics to public health concerns, but the result is likely to be felt far beyond the oil-producing industry, according to one expert. 

“This is going to hurt everyone,” said Seth Whitehead, Executive Director of the Illinois Petroleum Resources Board.

The IPRB is  a non-profit organization dedicated to public awareness and education programs regarding the Illinois oil and natural gas production industries. The Navigator was referred to the IPRB by the Illinois Oil and Gas Association when reached for comment on the global drop in oil prices.

Two major worldwide events have led to the significant decrease in oil prices, according to Whitehead.

“The sharp decline in oil prices can be attributed to two factors,” he said. “A dramatic drop in global demand due to the Coronavirus and announced plans by two of the world’s largest producers – Russia and Saudi Arabia – to dramatically increase production.

“Many experts believe the simultaneous dramatic drop in demand and dramatic increase in supply is unprecedented.”

For the rest of the story, check out this week's Navigator.