Marathon Oil (MRO) - Get Free Report lost more half of its market value and other oil companies wilted as crude prices fell when negotiations between OPEC and Russia broke down and Saudi Arabia launched a price war and vowed to boost production to lift its market share.
Shares of the Houston-based company were down 51.3% to $3.32 at last check.
The price war inflicted more punishment on markets that have been battered by weakening demand from the continued spread of the coronavirus.
Analysts responded to the price collapse by cutting their ratings on the oil companies
SunTrust analyst Neal Dingmann downgraded Marathon Oil to hold from buy and slashed his price target to $7 from $18.
Doug Leggate, an analyst with Bank of America, downgraded Marathon Oil to underperform from neutral, telling investors that the potential downside is more than twice the potential upside in his "stress" case compared with his base case.
Heikkinen Energy Advisors cut the recommendation on Occidental Petroleum Corp. to bottom tier
West Texas Intermediate crude was down 24.3% to $31.27 a barrel and Brent crude prices were off 24% to $34.43 a barrel.
Other oil companies that were suffering included Exxon Mobil (XOM) - Get Free Report, down 10.4% to $42.69, Chevron (CVX) - Get Free Report, down 14.3% to $81.66, and ConocoPhillips (COP) - Get Free Report was down 25.3% to $33.85.
In addition, Williams Cos. (WMB) - Get Free Report fell 13.9% to $15.01, Kinder Morgan (KMI) - Get Free Report was down 16.4% to $16.16, and Baker Hughes (BKR) - Get Free Report was down 22.3% to $12.50.
The sharp drop in oil prices started after OPEC talks collapsed as cartel leaders and non-member allies such as Russia failed to deepen a pact on production cuts but also allowed their current agreement, which takes 1.2 million barrels from the market each day, to expire.