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Majors look to store jet fuel at sea as air travel is drastically curbed

Ron Bousso, Stephanie Kelly, Laura Sanicola: MARCH 18, 2020 LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Major oil companies including BP and Shell are preparing to store jet fuel at sea as the coronavirus outbreak disrupts airline activity globally, while refiners are shifting to diesel because of the poor margins associated with jet fuel production.

Jet fuel demand has cratered as airlines suspend flights due to the coronavirus, which has infected more than 204,000 people and killed 8,710, prompting travel restrictions from governments around the world, including the United States. Market participants and refiners have had to scramble to adjust to incredibly low prices.

Gulf Coast jet cash prices were at 26.50 cents per gallon below futures, the lowest seasonally since at least 2011, the earliest data available, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

Robert Campbell, head of oil products at consultancy Energy Aspects, estimates that demand for jet is down more than 20 percent from normal levels of about 8 million barrels per day. read more

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