Jun 17, 2019

The push to secure oil tankers

Tanker ships in the Gulf of Oman off the coast of the UAE. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images

The weekend brought fresh pledges to protect oil tankers following last week's attacks in the Gulf of Oman, but markets picked up where they left off Friday, reacting more to bearish economic signs than heightened security fears.

Why it matters: Over 18 million barrels of oil per day — nearly a fifth of global demand — pass through the Strait of Hormuz.

Where it stands: The security of oil moving through the strait was prominent at a previously scheduled weekend meeting of G20 energy ministers in Japan, per S&P Global Platts and other reports.

  • The summit communique states: "In light of recent developments highlighting concerns about energy security, the G20 Energy Ministers acknowledge energy security as one of the guiding principles for the transformation of energy systems," Bloomberg reports.

What they're saying: "We always defend freedom of navigation. We are going to work to build out a set of countries that have deep vested interest in keeping that strait open to help us do that," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday on CBS News' "Face the Nation," noting Asian nations' reliance on oil moved through the area.

But, but, but: Economic headwinds are checking oil prices despite the rise in geopolitical tensions.

  • "Oil prices slipped on Monday as signs of an economic slowdown amid international trade disputes began to outweigh supply fears that were stoked by attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week and sent prices higher," Reuters reports.
  • However, there are already other costs. A bunch of stories, like this Bloomberg piece, note surging prices for insuring tankers moving through the region.

Go deeper: A crude tug of war on the global oil market

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 1,347,803 — Total deaths: 74,807 — Total recoveries: 277,402Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 368,196 — Total deaths: 10,986 — Total recoveries: 19,828Map.
  3. Trump administration latest: President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro warned White House colleagues in late January the coronavirus could take over half a million American lives and cost close to $6 trillion, memos obtained by Axios show.
  4. 2020 update: Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks governor's attempt to delay in-person primary voting delayed until June.
  5. States latest: West Coast states send ventilators to New York and other states with more immediate need — Data suggest coronavirus curve may be flattening in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
  6. World update: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to intensive care as coronavirus symptoms worsen.
  7. Stocks latest: The S&P 500 closed up 7% on Monday, while the Dow rose more than 1,500 points.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Docs: Navarro memos warning mass death circulated West Wing in January

Image from a memo to President Trump

In late January, President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro warned his White House colleagues the novel coronavirus could take more than half a million American lives and cost close to $6 trillion, according to memos obtained by Axios.

  • By late February, Navarro was even more alarmed, and he warned his colleagues, in another memo, that up to two million Americans could die of the virus.

Driving the news: Navarro's grim estimates are set out in two memos — one dated Jan. 29 and addressed to the National Security Council, the other dated Feb. 23 and addressed to the president. The NSC circulated both memos around the White House and multiple agencies.

Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks governor from delaying state's primary

Tony Evers. Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Wisconsin's Supreme Court on Monday blocked an executive order by Gov. Tony Evers (D) that attempted to delay in-person voting for the state's primary election — currently scheduled for Tuesday — until June 9.

Driving the news: Judges ruled 4-2 along ideological lines that Evers does not have the power as governor to unilaterally postpone the election, despite the fact that the state has a stay-at-home order in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health