Dec 2, 2019

OPEC+ to gather as challenges mount

OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 2019 Russian Energy Week forum. Photo: Alexey Nikolsky/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

OPEC and Russia — among other allied producers — will gather in Vienna late this week to decide the future of their supply-limiting deal.

Why it matters: The OPEC+ group is struggling to prop up prices amid growing supplies from the U.S. and elsewhere, as well as rather soft demand and trade conflicts.

Where it stands: The current pact, which curbs output by 1.2 million barrels per day, runs through March. Officials will debate whether to continue the existing pact or modify it.

  • Reuters reported this morning that there's discussion of deepening the cuts by at least 400,000 barrels per day, and that the prospect is one reason why prices rose earlier this morning.
  • However, their piece notes, "Some in the group are wary of encouraging more U.S. production by measures to support prices."

What's new: The latest headwinds for the cartel blew in this morning when President Trump said he's restoring tariffs on steel and aluminum from Brazil and Argentina.

  • Trade wars typically slow down oil demand growth, which is a problem for petro-states.

The intrigue: The latest gathering comes as Saudi Arabia is on the cusp of the long-awaited IPO of state oil giant Aramco.

  • The share pricing is slated to be announced on Dec. 5, the same day the meeting begins.
  • The Wall Street Journal quotes an unnamed Saudi oil adviser who said the kingdom needs "stable prices of at least $60 a barrel."
  • “It can’t afford to have a declining oil price as [this] would hurt domestic investors who have bought into the IPO," the adviser said.

Go deeper: New energy technologies are disrupting the power of OPEC

Go deeper

The wreckage of summer

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We usually think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer, with all of the fun and relaxation that goes with it — but this one is just going to remind us of all of the plans that have been ruined by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: If you thought it was stressful to be locked down during the spring, just wait until everyone realizes that all the traditional summer activities we've been looking forward to are largely off-limits this year.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,410,228 — Total deaths: 345,105 — Total recoveries — 2,169,005Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.