Oil prices collapse: Santos share price crashes 29% lower

The Santos Ltd (ASX:STO) share price is one of a number of energy shares sinking lower after oil prices continued to crash…

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The market is a sea of red again on Monday, but one area of the market which has been hit particularly hard is the energy sector.

In morning trade the S&P/ASX 200 energy index fell a massive 19% after oil prices continued to crash lower.

Here's how Australia's leading energy shares are doing this morning:

The Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) share price is down 19% to $1.35.

The BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) share price has fallen 9% to $29.35.

The Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) share price has crashed 23% lower to $3.90.

The Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) share price has sunk 23% lower to $5.13. It was down 29% at one stage.

The Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) share price is down 17% to $21.96.

Why are energy shares crashing lower?

Investors have been selling energy shares after oil prices crashed on Friday night and then collapsed on Monday morning.

On Friday, according to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price fell 10.5% to US$41.28 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price dropped 9.5% to US$45.27 a barrel. This was the worst day of trade that oil prices have had in over five years.

This was driven by OPEC+ failing to come to an agreement on production cuts when their current agreement expires at the end of the month.

But worse still, instead of making deeper cuts, there are now indications that Saudi Arabia and Russia could increase their production materially in order to win market share.

This led to both WTI and Brent crude oil prices crashing a further 30% lower when Asian trade opened this morning.

At the time of writing, WTI crude oil is down 19% to US$33.41 a barrel and Brent crude oil is down a further 19% to US$36.70 a barrel.

And with oil prices being tipped to go even lower if a price war breaks out, the outlook for Australia's energy producers just took a very dark turn.

One positive for consumers, though, is that this should lead to cheaper fuel at your Caltex Australia Limited (ASX: CTX) station in the coming weeks.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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 Scott Phillips.

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