Pump jacks draw crude oil from the Long Beach Oil Field under Discovery Well Park in Signal Hill, California. Photo: David McNew/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. crude prices plummeted in Asian trading hours Monday morning amid concerns about where to store the excess oil the world isn't using while countries are on lockdown over the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Our thought bubble, per Axios' Amy Harder: The story with the oil industry remains the same despite the OPEC deal this month to steeply cut oil production: There’s too much oil, too few places to put it and far too little demand for it."

What's new: Prices on the May contract for West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 15.54% to $15.43 a barrel, and the global benchmark Brent crude dropped 0.68% to $27.89 a barrel.

  • "The OPEC deal was always about making the situation a little less terrible, not reversing it," Harder notes. "The latest oil prices reflect that the storage part of this situation is getting more dire, and it will continue to do so."

Flashback: Global oil storage is "rapidly filling — exceeding 70% and approaching operating max," Steve Puckett, executive chairman of TRI-ZEN International, an energy consultancy, told CNBC this month.

Go deeper: A world locked down and drowning in oil

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
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U.S. cities' lagging climate progress

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Reproduced from a Brookings Institution report; Chart: Axios Visuals

A just-published Brookings Institution analysis of U.S. cities' pledges to cut carbon emissions reveals very mixed results.

Why it matters: The potential — and limits — of city and state initiatives have gotten more attention amid President Trump's scuttling of Obama-era national policies.

New state unemployment filings fall to 787,000

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

First-time applications for unemployment fell last week, according to Department of Labor data released on Thursday.

Between the lines: The overall number of Americans relying on unemployment also fell to a still-staggering 23 million. But there are continued signs of labor market strain, with more people shifting to an unemployment program designed for the long-term jobless.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: Many U.S. deaths were avoidable — The pandemic is getting worse again.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.