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Betty Liu Explains: Why Oil Prices Went Negative

Why did oil prices go negative last week?

That was really quite a day on Monday. So, you saw WTI crude go into negative price territory. As you can imagine, the demand for oil has dropped dramatically. We're not driving as many cars. We're not flying as many airplanes. And so, that decline in demand means that oil is piling up in storage. That price drop also was likely exacerbated by an expiring futures contract and it basically capped off three straight weeks of losses in oil.


What is the difference between WTI and Brent crude?

That is a common question. Those are the two most popularly traded grades of oil. Brent stands for Brent North Sea Crude and WTI stands for West Texas Intermediate. And it basically just tells you where that oil is coming from. So, the Brent is produced in the North Sea and it serves as the oil benchmark for Middle East, Africa and European oil. WTI is the oil benchmark for North American crude. Now, there's been commentary around the fact that Brent seems to be less susceptible to some of these storage issues you've been hearing about. It's a waterborne contract, whereas WTI is landlocked. So, there's a finite amount of storage and it's much more difficult to get that oil in and out of the region.

Meet Alessandra Cominetti, a recipient of MIT Technology Review Magazine's Innovators Under 35 award. As a lab technician at Eni's Research Centre for Renewable Energy in Novara, Alessandra has devoted her career to finding new solutions and materials to optimize solar energy. Much like the serendipitous encounter that resulted in her employment, her eagerness and willingness to try new things allowed her to stumble upon a material for the creation of portable solar panels.

Watch her remarkable story on the latest episode of Faces of Eni.

"If [the election] is very close and it ends up in the courts, that kind of protracted situation I think will lead many Americans to believe that it was an unfair election." Rick Hasen, election law expert and author of Election Meltdown, lays out some of the worst-case scenarios for Election Day, ranging from unprecedented voter suppression to dirty tricks by foreign actors. The conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer. The episode begins airing nationally in the US on public television this Friday, October 30. Check local listings.

Joe Biden has vowed to radically change the US' approach to foreign policy and international diplomacy should he win next week's election.

But a lot has happened in four years under Donald Trump that could impede Biden's ability to simply return to the status quo ante. How different would US foreign policy really be under a Biden presidency? What will the two-term former vice president likely be able to change, and what's bound to remain the same, at least for now?

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On Wednesday, November 4 at 11a EST, we're gathering a panel to discuss "What Just Happened" with the US election. GZERO Media's Ian Bremmer, Tony Maciulis and Alex Kliment will be joined by The Washington Post's Karen Attiah and Eurasia Group's Jon Lieber. Watch live at: gzeromedia.com/gzerolive.

Decision 2020: What Just Happened? Wednesday, November 4, 11a EST/8a PST

Panelists:

Bookmark this link to watch live: gzeromedia.com/gzerolive

Add to your calendar:

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Jon Lieber, Managing Director for the United States at the Eurasia Group, shares his perspective on a special US election edition of US Politics In 60 Seconds:

So, we're about five days out from the election right now.

And the story of this week has been the remarkably steady polling lead for Joe Biden that he's had for months now. The other big story is the turnout, massive amounts of turnout. 100% of the 2016 vote already cast in Texas. 60% nationwide votes already cast. We are headed for record shattering turnout, could be around 155 million Americans voting.

On election night, what are we watching for?

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