Stocks in companies that explore for oil suffered huge losses Monday as a clash between crude producers Saudi Arabia and Russia sparked a drop in the price of a barrel not seen for decades. The price of U.S. crude plunged 24.6% to a 4-year low of $31.13. The last time oil prices fell as much was during the 1991 Gulf War.
Russia refused last week to join the OPEC oil cartel’s production cuts, and Saudi Arabia, the leading OPEC member, sharply changed course by cutting prices and signalling it will ramp up output. Among the hardest hit oil explorers were Texas’ Diamondback Energy, Apache and Marathon Oil. All three companies lost more than a 40% of their value Monday.