This is cool: "Axios on HBO" premiers this Sunday at 6:30pm ET/PT, with a replay at 11:30pm. It's a 4-part docu-news series on the big trends, big ideas and big personalities reshaping America in real time.
Situational awareness: ExxonMobil beat analysts' expectations this morning, as it reported Q3 results showing earnings of $1.46/share and revenue of $76.61 billion. Per CNBC, analysts are particularly interested in Exxon's refining operations after executives warned in July that investors should expect significant refinery maintenance.
Onto music. This year marks the 50th anniversary of "Beggars Banquet," The Rolling Stones' second-best album. So one of those tracks brings us into the weekend...
Remember the old days of very early October? That's when rising prices were spurring talk of oil climbing higher and higher and maybe — maybe — reaching $100 per barrel in coming months?
And, now? Just days away from formal reimposition of U.S. oil sanctions against Iran, the world looks very different.
Driving the news: Oil prices have been on a generally downward path for a month, with more significant declines this week.
Several forces have been driving the decline:
The latest: Via Bloomberg this morning, "The U.S. has agreed to let eight countries — including Japan, India and South Korea — keep buying Iranian oil after it reimposes sanctions on the OPEC producer on Nov. 5, a senior administration official said."
Over at Barclays, analyst Michael Cohen — who has been skeptical about the idea of a price surge for a while — summed things up in a note this morning:
Don't expect oil to remain this low, some analysts caution.
What they're saying: “Fundamentally, we do think that the prices should move higher from here,” says Paul Sheldon of S&P Global Platts Analytics on a new episode of the Platts Capitol Crude podcast.
Hedgeye Risk Management's Joe McMonigle tells me: “I don’t think the market has really priced in the full amount of sanctions yet.”
What's (maybe) next: McMonigle sees prices back in the $85 range by mid-December, thanks to a number of forces. But Barclays' Cohen sees Brent prices averaging $77 in the fourth quarter of this year and averaging $72 overall next year, albeit with risk "skewed to the upside."
Be smart: Hurdles continue to face the White House as it reinstates sanctions, Atlantic Council's Barbara Slavin writes for Axios. These include...
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Leading officials of the world’s biggest countries, fossil-fuel companies and finance banks are meeting later this month in Scotland for one of the largest-ever summits on technology capturing carbon dioxide emissions, Axios' Amy Harder reports.
Why it matters: This technology is increasingly considered essential to address climate change given how carbon-intensive the world’s energy and industrial systems are. But it remains too expensive in most instances. The gap between what’s needed and what exists today is staggering.
Details: Conference organizers hope the summit will produce more support, including financing, for carbon capture projects, but they have not yet disclosed specific "deliverables" they hope the event will yield.
Some notable attendees, per a list of expected attendees by IEA:
“It really does take partnerships between governments and industry,” said McCullogh. She cited a proposal in Norway, whose government and industry officials will be at the meeting, as a good example. But there, questions of who will fund it loom large.
What’s next: Expect global focus on this technology to continue at the United Nations’ annual climate conference held just a few days after in early December. Coal-dependent Poland is hosting the event, with Kurtyka as the president of the conference.
The number of electric vehicle options available to U.S. buyers is slated to nearly double over the next few years, reaching a projected 108 in 2022, according to the nonprofit Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).
Why it matters: Wider choices — along with greater range, cheaper options and more public charging infrastructure — are among the forces that can help drive greater adoption of EVs.
By the numbers: Speaking of range, the average for battery EVs was 192 miles as of the end of 2017 (it's already longer now), and that's slated to average around 250 miles by 2022, EPRI said.
Power: "The CEO of the PJM Interconnection said Thursday that a federal bailout for coal and nuclear plants is unnecessary, but higher payments to generators that store fuel onsite may be needed in the mid-2020s," Utility Dive reports.
Exxon: The Houston Chronicle looks at the complicated geopolitics surrounding Exxon's plans to develop their huge oil discoveries off Guyana's coast...
Climate: Via The Hill, "Three federal agencies said Thursday that they’re working to embrace burning trees and other biomass to create energy in a 'carbon-neutral' way."
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Two important climate stories from Axios writers....
Marine heat: The world's oceans have absorbed about 60% more heat during the past 25 years than previously estimated, according to a new study published in the journal Nature.
The study takes advantage of a new method that can serve as a whole ocean thermometer, Axios' Andrew Freedman reports.
Deforestation: Axios' Diego Rodriguez writes ... The environmental platform put forward by Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's right-wing president-elect, could cause a rise in greenhouse gas emissions and a 268% spike in deforestation, according to a simulation from the National Institute of Space Studies in Brazil.