Crude oil

Oil demand growth hasn't been this slow since 2008

Photo: Yegor Aleyev/TASS via Getty Image

Global oil demand growth from January through May was the slowest for that period since 2008, and the "situation is becoming even more uncertain" as the U.S.-China trade fight heats up, the International Energy Agency said Friday.

Why it matters: Its closely-watched monthly report provides fresh evidence of how the global economic slowdown is weighing on oil markets. Prices are at their lowest levels since January, despite tensions in the Middle East that typically put upward pressure on the market. "Economic woes hold sway over geopolitics," it said.

Big Oil faces a slowing economy and renewed trade war

A barrel of oil knocked over forming a frowny face
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Oil and natural gas companies are staring down the barrel of a slowing economy, President Trump's on-again-off-again Chinese trade war, persistently low oil prices that plunged yesterday, and even lower natural gas prices.

Where it stands: Big Oil's second-quarter earnings are mixed this week. European majors Total, Eni and Shell reported large drops in profits while BP "bucked the trend." On this side of the Atlantic, ExxonMobil faced a 21% drop in quarterly profit while Chevron saw a 26.3% rise in its quarterly profits, per Reuters.