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Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

These are wild times for the oil industry. COVID-19 is still hurting demand but there's optimism around vaccines; the incoming Biden administration is vowing new U.S. drilling restrictions, and there are big question marks about the future of global consumption.

But for all the disruption, prices have been remarkably stable since June following their recovery from the depths of April's collapse — stalled at a level that's nonetheless still causing financial pain and jeopardy for producers.

Why it matters: The out of control pandemic and related restrictions are still the most powerful forces in the market, limiting current prices even as analysts see a price rebound next year.

What they're saying: Via Bloomberg...

"Crude seems to have gone as high as it can, said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro Bank. 'Oil demand will not fully recover before 2022,' he said. 'Markets may have been a bit too optimistic' about a vaccine rollout."

Go deeper

Jan 19, 2021 - Health

Fauci: U.S. could achieve herd immunity by fall if vaccine rollout goes to plan

NIAID director Anthony Fauci. Photo: Patrick Semansky-Pool/Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday that if the coronavirus vaccine rollout by the incoming Biden administration goes as planned, the U.S. could start to see effects of herd immunity and normalcy by early-to-mid fall.

What he's saying: "If we [vaccinate] efficiently in April, May, June, July, August, we should have that degree of protection that could get us back to some form of normality. ... But we've also got to do it on a global scale," he said at a Harvard Business Review virtual event.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."