CRASH: Why Santos Ltd’s share price is getting crushed today

Australia’s oil and gas producers are getting absolutely hammered today, especially Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) which has fallen 11.6% to just $3.37 per share.

Santos’s share price was smothered after the rout in crude oil prices worsened overnight after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, failed to ease the global supply glut.

Brent crude oil, which is considered the global benchmark, was smashed 4.9% to US$40.90 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI), which is the benchmark in the United States, settled 5.8% lower. As highlighted by The Australian Financial Review, that was the lowest settlement price since February 2009 while there are fears conditions could continue to worsen from here.

Santos wasn’t the only energy producer getting poleaxed today. The Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) share price fell 3.6%, the Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) share price fell 15.6% and Sundance Energy Australia Ltd’s (ASX: SEA) share price collapsed 11%.

That’s not all. AWE Limited (ASX: AWE) shares retreated 7.4%, while Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd (ASX: LNG) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) shares crashed 12.9% and 4.2% respectively. BHP Billiton’s share price is now sitting at just $17.24 and almost fell below $17 a share earlier in the session.

With conditions expected to remain volatile, investors would be wise to avoid the sector altogether and focus on other opportunities instead.

For instance, rather than taking an unnecessary risk on Santos or BHP shares, these 3 "new breed" top blue chips for 2016 pay fully franked dividends and offer the very real prospect of significant capital appreciation. Click here to learn more.

The report is free! No credit card required.

Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ASXvalueinvest.

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss a very important event! Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips and his team at Motley Fool Share Advisor are about to reveal their latest official stock recommendation. The premium “buy alert” will be unveiled to members and you can be among the first to act on the tip.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – this is your chance to get in early!

Simply enter your email now to find out how you can get instant access.

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.