Nov 19, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Oil's stable state of chaos

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

These are wild times for the oil industry. COVID-19 is still hurting demand but there's optimism around vaccines; the incoming Biden administration is vowing new U.S. drilling restrictions, and there are big question marks about the future of global consumption.

But for all the disruption, prices have been remarkably stable since June following their recovery from the depths of April's collapse — stalled at a level that's nonetheless still causing financial pain and jeopardy for producers.

Why it matters: The out of control pandemic and related restrictions are still the most powerful forces in the market, limiting current prices even as analysts see a price rebound next year.

What they're saying: Via Bloomberg...

"Crude seems to have gone as high as it can, said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro Bank. 'Oil demand will not fully recover before 2022,' he said. 'Markets may have been a bit too optimistic' about a vaccine rollout."
Go deeper