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.

Updated 32 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court blocks Alabama curbside voting measure

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday evening blocked a lower court order that would have allowed voters to cast ballots curbside at Alabama polling places on Election Day.

Whit it matters: With less than two weeks until Election Day, the justices voted 5-3 to reinstate the curbside voting ban and overturn a lower court judge's ruling designed to protect people with disabilities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election.
  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: New York reports most COVID cases since MayStudies show drop in coronavirus death rate — The next wave is gaining steam.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — San Francisco public schools likely won't reopen before the end of the year.
  5. World: Spain becomes first nation in Western Europe to exceed 1 million cases.