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Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Aidan Cooney, U.S. Coast Guard

Oil tankers are parked off the California coast instead of unloading — a stark sign of the global glut now that demand has collapsed and storage is filling up.

Driving the news: There are 20 oil tankers anchored off southern California ports, with 15 that may remain for an unknown and extended period, while five are slated to offload in the next several days.

  • That's according to Captain Kip Louttit of the Marine Exchange of Southern California, which operates vessel traffic in the region on behalf of the U.S. Coast Guard.

The big picture: "About three dozen massive oil tankers are anchored from Los Angeles and Long Beach up to San Francisco Bay, turning into floating storage for crude oil that is in short demand because of the coronavirus," NPR reports.

Go deeper

Coronavirus hotspots begin to improve

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Danielle Alberti, Sara Wise/Axios

Coronavirus infections are falling or holding steady in most of the country, including the hard-hit hotspots of Arizona, California and Florida.

The big picture: A decline in new infections is always good news, but don't be fooled: the U.S. still has a very long way to go to recover from this summer's surge.

Updated Aug 24, 2020 - Health

Florida surpasses 600,000 confirmed coronavirus cases

Emergency at Coral Gables Hospital near Miami on July 30. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Florida's confirmed coronavirus cases exceeded 600,000 on Sunday, the state's health department data shows.

Why it matters: Florida joins California as the only two states to surpass this milestone. Texas, which is reporting the third-most confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is not far behind, according to state figures and Johns Hopkins data. Florida has added over 100,000 cases since Aug. 5.

Coronavirus hastens Big Oil's Atlantic divide on climate change

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The pandemic is accelerating a divide between European and American oil companies over climate change and clean energy.

Why it matters: Bottom lines and investor returns will be vastly different across the corporate spectrum depending on how aggressively the world tackles climate change in the coming decades.

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