Oil gains on storm-hit U.S. output and COVID-19 treatment hopes
Crude oil prices are rising today as storms close in on the Gulf of Mexico, shutting more than half its oil production, and on signs of progress in development of a COVID-19 treatment.
So far energy companies have shut more than 1 million barrels per day of offshore crude oil production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico because of the twin threat from Hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura. Workers have been evacuated from more than 100 production platforms.
Carriers on top in rate negotiations as shippers scramble to nab capacity
Rising freight demand, still prominently driven by retail and consumer spending, has sustained well into summer, defying usual seasonal trends and giving carriers a strong hand to play in rate negotiations on both the spot market and for contracts heading into the 2020 holiday season and into 2021.
Freight volumes year over year on the spot market this summer are trending well above both 2018 and 2019 levels, although July and August typically are lulls between the spring freight season and the beginning of the holiday-driven freight season that spans from October through year’s end.
Top Energy Stories
By the end of the third quarter, most U.S. oil producers plan to restore nearly all of the production shut down during the oil crash, according to a new report.
Preserving trees is rewarded with carbon-offset credits, a climate-change currency that companies can purchase and apply toward a tiny portion of their tab. Big energy companies like BP are betting that the idea will spread and are looking to preserve vast tracts of forest beyond what they need for California, as part of a growing, speculative market in voluntary offsets.
Hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura tore through the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico on Sunday, forcing thousands of coastal residents in Louisiana and Cuba to evacuate and flooding roads in Haiti’s capital, with damage across the region expected to worsen this week. In Grand Isle, at Louisiana’s southern tip, energy companies continued to pull workers from offshore platforms and shut down oil production.
The Canada Energy Regulator says it expects oil production in Canada will average 4.38 million barrels per day this year, down by 6.6 percent compared with 2019.
Top Freight Transportation Stories
The parent of Maersk Line, the world’s largest box ship operator by capacity, more than tripled its net profit in the second quarter as higher freight rates and lower fuel costs offset lower shipping volumes that came as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The American Trucking Associations’ Intermodal Motor Carrier Conference has filed a Federal Maritime Commission complaint against the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association and 11 of the largest ocean carriers, claiming they have limited chassis choice across the country, resulting in overcharging or other damages totaling “as much as $1.8 billion” over the last three years, according to a press release from the association and the complaint.
Striking dockworkers at the Port of Montreal reached an agreement Friday to end an 11-day-old strike that had shut Canada’s second-busiest port.
When economies around the world ground to a sudden halt due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of emissions became clear – literally. Suddenly, distant mountain ranges came into view. NASA video from space was clearer. Cities like New Delhi were under uncharacteristically blue skies.
Top Economic Stories
New debt sales from blue-chip companies are poised to reach a record for annual issuance this week as more opportunistic borrowers lock in some of the lowest borrowing costs in history. Meanwhile, high-yield supply may slow to a trickle.
The number of people filing for unemployment benefits last week was greater than expected, raising concern about the state of the economy as lawmakers struggle to move forward on a new pandemic stimulus package.
A growing number of economists are saying that the recent recovery, driven by a reopening of the economy and Washington stimulus, is slowing — and may end as soon as this month. The forecasts are the latest sign that the failure of President Donald Trump and Democrats to reach a deal on an additional stimulus bill is starting to drag down the economy in the wake of the continued pandemic.
Americans are feeling a bit more optimistic about their finances, but overall consumer confidence continues to waver nearly six months into the pandemic response.