Data: Yahoo; Chart: Axios Visuals

The oil market's recovery from the depths of the pandemic-fueled collapse has gone into reverse lately.

Driving the news: Prices stalled in the low $40s per barrel for the U.S. benchmark WTI several months ago and have been losing ground in recent days.

  • WTI and Brent crude, the global benchmark, are both trading at their lowest levels in over two months this morning.
  • U.S. prices had slid to $37.45 as we hit publish Tuesday morning, with Brent at $40.46.

Why it matters: They're too low for many producers to profitably drill new wells and ease financial stress, and more bankruptcies are likely.

  • Indebted U.S. shale producers and their contractors are especially exposed.
  • More broadly, prices shows the tragic global persistence of COVID-19, which has slashed demand for oil, although it is come back a lot from earlier in the year.

The big picture: Analysts say COVID-19 and other forces — including U.S.-China trade tensions and higher OPEC+ supply — are together putting downward pressure on prices as summer winds down.

  • "The streak of losses is driven by a stalling crude demand outlook for the rest of the year, with rising cases of COVID-19 and the end of the summer driving season in the US, as well as Asian refineries putting on breaks," Rystad Energy analyst Paola Rodríguez-Masiu said in a note this morning.

Yes, but: Norbert Ruecker of the Swiss bank Julius Baer tells Reuters that the market's macro conditions favor a return to recovery.

  • “Fundamentally, things have not changed,” he said. “Demand is recovering, supply remains constrained, and the storage overhang is slowly disappearing.”

Go deeper: COVID-19 remains oil price’s wild card (FT)

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Sep 13, 2020 - Energy & Environment

BP projects peak oil demand is very close or already happened

Oil drilling ship Tungsten Explorer off the coast of Lebanon on Feb. 25, 2020. Photo: Joseph Eid/AFP via Getty Images

Global oil consumption is slated to plateau early this decade even without vastly stronger measures to combat climate change, BP said in a new analysis.

Why it matters: BP now sees this moment arriving a decade sooner than last year's version of their long-term outlook for oil-and-gas, coal, renewables, cars and more.

Updated 27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Where key GOP senators stand on replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With President Trump planning to nominate his third Supreme Court justice nominee this week, key Republican senators are indicating their stance on replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with less than 50 days until Election Day.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has vowed that "Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate." Two GOP senators — Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) — have said they oppose holding a vote before the election, meaning that two more defections would force McConnell to delay until at least the lame-duck session of Congress.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 30,873,714 — Total deaths: 958,383— Total recoveries: 21,103,559Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 6,788,343 — Total deaths: 199,421 — Total recoveries: 2,577,446 — Total tests: 94,211,463Map.
  3. Politics: Testing czar on Trump's CDC contradictions: "Everybody is right" Ex-FDA chief: Career scientists won't be "easily cowed" by political vaccine pressure
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19.
  6. World: England sets £10,000 fine for breaking self-isolation rules — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.