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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A COVID-19 vaccine is "unlikely to ride to the rescue of the global oil market for some time," the International Energy Agency warned as they deepened their estimate of the pandemic's near-term effect on oil demand.

Why it matters: This morning's monthly oil market report is IEA's first analysis of where supply and demand is heading since Pfizer and BioNTech announced promising early results from its vaccine trials.

What they're saying: "[I]t is far too early to know how and when vaccines will allow normal life to resume. For now, our forecasts do not anticipate a significant impact in the first half of 2021," IEA said.

  • "Vaccines are unlikely to significantly boost demand until well into next year," they said.

Threat level: Surging caseloads and new lockdowns led IEA to increase their estimate for how much oil demand will fall this year.

  • IEA sees demand falling by 8.8 million barrels per day compared to 2019 levels, which is 400,000 barrels per day more than their prior monthly analysis (though revisions to past data also play a role).

What's next: Market watchers are looking to see whether OPEC+ will revisit plans to ease their joint supply curbs at the end of the year.

  • "With a COVID-19 vaccine unlikely to ride to the rescue of the global oil market for some time, the combination of weaker demand and rising oil supply provides a difficult backdrop to the meeting of OPEC+ countries due to take place on 1 December," IEA said.

Where it stands: "Talks between OPEC and its allies are zeroing in on a delay to next year’s planned oil-output increase of three to six months, according to several delegates," Bloomberg reports.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 29, 2021 - Economy & Business

Chevron posts another quarterly loss under weight of pandemic

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Chevron posted another quarterly loss Friday in the latest sign of how the pandemic is still weighing on oil companies despite some price recovery during the second half of the year.

Driving the news: The oil giant reported a $665 million loss for the October-December period, but it shrinks to $11 million on an adjusted basis after considering charges on its acquisition of Noble Energy and "foreign currency effects."

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

J&J says its one-shot vaccine is 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID

Photo: Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson announced Friday that its single-shot coronavirus vaccine was 66% effective in protecting against moderate to severe COVID-19 disease in Phase 3 trials, which was comprised of nearly 44,000 participants across eight countries.

Between the lines: The vaccine was 72% effective in the U.S., but only 57% effective in South Africa, where a more contagious variant has been spreading. It prevented 85% of severe infections and 100% of hospitalizations and deaths, according to the company.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 5 hours ago - Technology

A dark view of the future of autonomous weapons

A still from the video "If Human: Kill ( )." Image: Future of Life Institute

A new short film warns of the coming risks posed by the development and proliferation of lethal autonomous weapons.

Why it matters: Drones with the ability to autonomously target and kill without the assistance of a human operator are reportedly already being used on battlefields, and time is running out to craft a global ban of what could be a destabilizing and terrifying new class of weapon.