Oil companies

The big picture

Big Oil lobby showing subtle shifts on climate change

It shows the oil industry's gradual embrace of climate change as a problem the government should address.

Dec 11, 2019
Why climate change is so hard to tackle: Our stubborn energy system

Our dependence on fossil fuels has remained about the same for 30 years.

Aug 26, 2019
The U.S. is exporting oil to 31 countries

The number was essentially zero before 2015.

Aug 2, 2019
The age of American oil

Thanks to the end of a 40-year-old crude oil export ban, a shale boom and a host of geopolitical changes.

Mar 13, 2019

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How the post-coronavirus shift to remote work could impact oil demand

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday that the company is planning to shift the majority of its workforce to be able to work remotely in the next 5 to 10 years.

The state of play: It's the latest sign that remote work could become a permanent fixture of the post-pandemic landscape for substantial numbers of people whose jobs enable that luxury. That, in turn, is among the things that may act as a drag on long-term oil demand if many large employers go the same route.

Google drops future AI oil extraction projects

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Google will no longer develop new artificial intelligence tools to help oil and gas companies extract crude, the company announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: The tech giant is breaking away from Microsoft and Amazon, both of which have also developed AI in recent years to expedite oil production and make services more efficient for companies like Chevron and GE Oil & Gas. Google's 2018 contract with Total was in place as of February, a Total spokesperson confirmed to Axios at the time.

Q&A with Trump's energy chief: Carbon emissions, oil and more

Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette during a February 13, 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal. Photo: Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

President Trump’s top energy chief speaks with Axios about America's oil boom, carbon emissions and more as they relate to the coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette has been at the center of Trump’s efforts to help the oil industry struggling amid the pandemic.

Oil prices reach two-month high as producers throttle back output

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

U.S. oil prices are above $30-per-barrel for the first time since mid-March as producers cut output while demand continues recovering from its April depths as restrictions are eased.

Why it matters: The increase eases pressure on the industry, but hardly alleviates the distress as prices remain below profitable levels for many producers and analysts caution that the recovery is shaky.

Big Oil's clean-energy deals fall amid coronavirus pandemic

Reproduced from Bloomberg; Chart: Axios Visuals

Oil giants' pace of clean energy deals has slowed greatly as oil prices have collapsed, the research firm BloombergNEF said in a tally of activity by ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, BP and others.

What they found: "Up to 14 deals were announced in 1Q 2020, with only three reaching completion. This compares with 17 deals closed in 1Q 2019," the firm said in a brief note.

U.S. oil producers to see bigger capital spending drop than 2008

Data: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

A Dallas Fed report helps put the oil industry's response to the price and demand collapse into historical context. They find that U.S. producers' capital spending will decline by at least 35% in the second quarter en route to an even steeper annual decline.

Why it matters: That's bigger than declines in the 2008-2009 financial crisis and the oil price collapse in the mid-2010s (check out the chart above).

Oil's risky recovery and the damage done

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Oil prices are recovering as producers slash output and demand starts coming back, but analysts warn there's a big asterisk next to the trend: the trajectory of the coronavirus pandemic.

Driving the news: Brent crude is trading around $31.97 this morning compared to its April trough below $20, while prices for the U.S. benchmark WTI have roughly doubled over the last two weeks to around $28.62.

Oil market forces "have demonstrated their power"

Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images

Global oil production is dropping faster than expected as companies in North America and elsewhere curb output in response to the pandemic that has caused demand and prices to crater, the International Energy Agency said.

Why it matters: The monthly report this morning sounds guardedly optimistic notes about the stabilization of oil markets, noting that in addition to the production cuts, collapse in demand is slightly less dire than earlier predictions.

Scoop: Trump’s energy chief signals more help for oil companies unlikely

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Trump administration is not planning specific financial aid to beleaguered oil producers, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette told Axios Wednesday.

Driving the news: The administration has taken a few narrow steps. But rumors have been rampant that the government was planning a drastic move ever since President Trump tweeted on April 21 that he ordered Brouillette and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to "formulate a plan which will make funds" available to the sector.

EIA again cuts U.S. oil production forecast amid coronavirus cutbacks

Data: EIA; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The Energy Information Administration has again cut its U.S. oil production forecast as companies curb output amid the price and demand collapse driven by the coronavirus pandemic.

Driving the news: The agency now sees production averaging 11.7 million barrels per day this year and 10.9 million in 2021.

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