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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Add BP CEO Bernard Looney to the list of people who think oil demand may never fully recover after the coronavirus pandemic, even though it's already coming back from the depths of the collapse.

Driving the news: “I don’t think we know how this is going to play out. I certainly don't know,” he told the Financial Times (subscription).

  • “Could it be peak oil? Possibly. Possibly. I would not write that off," he said in the interview, where he notes the proliferation of remote-working technology.

Why it matters: The remarks show how COVID-19 has upended oil markets in a way that's likely to last for a long time.

  • Looney's comments are similar to recent remarks by Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden.

The big picture: An Oxford Institute for Energy Studies analysis sees demand reaching "pre-shock" levels in the fourth quarter of 2021.

  • But they also cite modeling challenges and known unknowns, such as whether there's another wave of lockdowns — a prospect other analysts are weighing too.
  • "It may be hard to comprehend now. But barring a second wave of the pandemic, nearly all pre-COVID demand could return by the second half of 2021," IHS Markit's Roger Diwan said in an email.

Go deeper: Coronavirus leaves experts pondering if the planet already hit peak oil demand

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Aug 5, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Shale's struggles will persist despite a rise in oil prices

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

WTI, the benchmark U.S. oil future, traded Wednesday morning at its highest since early March — highlighting how the worst of shale's crisis is seemingly over, though more bankruptcies likely lie ahead.

Why it matters: Its price at the time — $43 — is still too low for many producers to do well, though it varies from company to company.

Drought, record heat wave in West tied to climate change

People on Folsom Lake in Granite Bay, California, U.S., June 16, 2021. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The prolonged and widespread heat wave in the West, along with the region's increasingly severe drought, is a sign of how climate change has already tilted the odds in favor of such extremes, studies show.

Why it matters: The rapidly growing Southwest, in particular, is also the nation's fastest-warming region. The combination of heat and drought could lead to a repeat, or even eclipse, the severity of 2020's wildfire season in California and other states.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

What to watch as infrastructure talks heat up

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A mix of Beltway action and extreme weather events have brought the fault lines in infrastructure talks and their planetary stakes into sharper focus.

Catch up fast: Senate Democratic leaders pledged to seek big climate measures in a multitrillion-dollar, Democrats-only package that faces a very narrow political path.