Reproduced from Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Chart: Axios Visuals

A new Dallas Fed survey of energy executives and the upswing in COVID-19 cases together signal the near- and long-term problems facing domestic oil producers.

Why it matters: It's another window onto something we wrote about earlier this week: The once-booming shale patch may never achieve its former output, and if it does, it'll be reshaped as some financially weaker players face insolvency and potential acquisition.

Driving the news: The Dallas Fed's quarterly look at the oil-and-gas sector in its region has a revealing look at how the industry sees the future.

  • Many industry executives surveyed don't see drilling operations returning to former levels for at least a year.
  • 39% of the executives say it will be at least 2022, while another 16% say it won't ever happen.
  • Output from shale wells declines very fast, so the absence of lots of new drilling shows why regaining the previous nationwide production peak of almost 13 million barrels per day is such a heavy lift.

Yes, but: The survey of executives from oil-and-gas producers also has some promising signs for the industry. It notes that most producers expect to revive output from idled existing wells in the next few months (with substantial amounts brought back this month).

What they're saying: A Bloomberg feature yesterday explores how analysts see the sector's future.

Their survey of projections by the International Energy Agency and four consulting and data firms shows that on average, they see production 18 months down 16% from its pre-COVID peak.

But that average mixes bullish and bearish outlooks — two of the firms project that output in early December of 2022 will be under 10 million barrels per day.

Where it stands: The crude oil price recovery has gone into reverse over the last week amid sobering news on the spread of COVID-19.

Prices this morning for the U.S. benchmark WTI are $37.24, a retreat from the $40-per-barrel range earlier in the month that has marked the first return to $40 since early March.

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Oil giants Shell and Total report profits despite staggering earnings declines

Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Shell and Total SA announced mammoth earnings declines Thursday that reflect the pandemic's toll on energy prices and demand, but the companies nonetheless beat expectations and eked out profits.

Driving the news: Shell announced second-quarter adjusted net earnings of $638 million, an 82% decline from the same period last year.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 4,793,950 — Total deaths: 157,416 — Total recoveries: 1,528,979 — Total tests: 58,239,438Map.
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  4. Public health: Florida surpasses 500,000 confirmed casesModerna skirts disclosures of vaccine costs.
  5. Sports: The return of high school sports hangs in the balance — UConn becomes first FBS team to cancel football season.
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Beirut explosion: Death toll rises to 135, officials under house arrest

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

The death toll from Tuesday's explosion in Beirut, Lebanon has now surpassed 130, including at least one U.S. citizen, amid a search for answers as to why a huge store of ammonium nitrate was left unsecured near the city's port for nearly seven years.

What we know: The government says around 5,000 people are injured. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said current indications are that the massive explosion was accidental, despite President Trump's puzzling claim on Tuesday evening that it appeared to be a bomb attack.