Rarely has there been as many moving parts in the global crude market. How much demand for oil has been really destroyed by the coronavirus pandemic? How much oil has Saudi Arabia really loaded onto crude carriers in hopes of buyers? If there were a resolution of the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, would it simply help sentiment—and offer little real solution?

There’s no way crude and product inventories held in storage won’t continue to rise, barring an overnight cure for the coronavirus. The fear is that storage—whether floating, coastal or landlocked—will be filled to tank tops in the near term. The hope is that by reaching a deal on global production, the date for maxing out storage will be pushed out to allow the world economy more time to get back on its feet.

There’s no shortage of estimates of oil demand destruction or the timing of inventory builds to fill storage.

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