Oil, gas and mining

Oil prices drop amid coronavirus concerns

Coronavirus concerns are contributing to a sharp drop in the price of oil. On Friday, the price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude sold for less than half of what it did one year before.

During Thursday night’s town hall, Governor Abbott sought to put the price drop in perspective.

“The price of a barrel right now is exactly where it was in 2016,” Abbott said. He noted that there are bigger concerns for other sectors of the economy, like the restaurant industry and the entertainment industry.

Meanwhile, grocery stores are seeing demand so strong it’s straining their ability to keep shelves stocked. Abbott said he believes Texans will be able to keep buying the supplies they need.

“These stores have both the flexibility, but also the supply chain to make sure they’re going to be able to weather this challenge,” Abbott said. “I feel very confident about their supply chains.”