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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.

Senate confirms retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as defense secretary

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

The Senate voted 93-2 on Friday to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as secretary of defense. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) were the sole "no" votes.

Why it matters: Austin is the first Black American to lead the Pentagon and President Biden's second Cabinet nominee to be confirmed.

House will transmit article of impeachment to Senate on Monday, Schumer says

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that the House will deliver the article of impeachment against former President Trump for "incitement of insurrection" on Monday.

Why it matters: The Senate is required to begin the impeachment trial at 1pm the day after the article is transmitted.