Oil prices fell nearly 2% Wednesday, retreating from seven-year highs following news of an unexpected build in U.S. crude stocks, Russia’s offer to pump more supply into Europe and the likelihood of a further release from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Crude futures rose in morning trading, with WTI up 0.9% at $78.12/bbl and Brent down 0.9% at $81.81/bbl. Natural gas was 0.2% lower at $5.66/MMBtu.
Despite surging oil prices, U.S. shale production is expected to expand only modestly the next 18 months as drillers use improved cash flow to pay down debt rather than expand.
LNG spot prices in Asia skyrocketed 40% Wednesday to a record $56/MMBtu amid a worsening supply crunch ahead of the winter heating season.
U.K. wholesale gas futures surged 14.7% Wednesday to 3 pounds/therm, a record high.
A group of California lawmakers is pushing a bill that would ban offshore drilling in the state, a response to the recent 3,000-barrel spill off the coast of Orange County. The Coast Guard is investigating whether a container ship anchor might have snagged and bent the pipeline over the course of two days.
The nation reported 111,503 COVID-19 infections and 2,556 virus fatalities Wednesday.
More than 353,000 COVID–19 deaths have been reported in the U.S. since Jan. 1, surpassing the number of virus fatalities for all of 2020.
Almost every state in the U.S. has reported at least 1,000 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic, with Wyoming becoming the most recent state to pass the grim milestone.
Los Angeles will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for entry to restaurants, bars, shopping centers and other indoor venues starting Nov. 6, making the U.S.’s largest city the strictest in regard to COVID-19 rules.
COVID-19 cases in Florida continue to drop, with the state’s seven-day average nearing 4,000 compared to summer highs above 30,000.
The FDA has begun assessing the possibility of mixing COVID-19 vaccines as the nation begins rolling out booster doses to a larger population.
The White House is investing $1 billion to expand the use of rapid at-home COVID-19 tests, with the goal of quadrupling usage by the end of the year.
Kaiser Permanente has roughly 2,200 employees on unpaid leave for not complying with the company’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, down from nearly 5,000 employees who were suspended at the end of September.
GM announced ambitious plans to double revenue by 2030 as it further establishes itself in the electric- and autonomous-vehicle market, with the automaker’s entry-level electric SUV set to sell at $30,000, undercutting the cheapest version of Tesla’s Model 3 sedan.
Mercedes-Benz plans to add 300 jobs at an Alabama assembly plant by the end of the year as it prepares to build new electric SUVs.
California’s governor signed new recycling and waste-related bills Tuesday, including measures to limit the export of plastic scrap and to prohibit product packaging from having recyclability claims without state approval.
Google introduced a suite of new sustainability features Wednesday to a wide array of its core products, including eco-mapping on Google Maps and improved home thermostat settings.
Global COVID-19 cases fell 9% week over week, the fourth consecutive weekly drop, led by a 43% decline in cases in Africa, according to the World Health Organization.
The U.K. reported 39,851 new COVID-19 infections Wednesday, the most in a month, along with 143 virus deaths.
New COVID-19 cases in Seoul rose above 2,000 for the second day in a row, worrying officials about a resurgence of the virus, despite South Korea being on pace to fully vaccinate 80% of its population by the end of the month.
Singapore reported 3,577 new COVID-19 infections Wednesday, the most since the start of the pandemic.
COVID-19 cases in Japan have dropped to their lowest levels in nearly a year, with Tokyo reporting just 87 new infections Monday, down from more than 5,000 per day in August.
Strict pandemic restrictions will be further eased in Sydney, Australia, Monday after the city reached its goal of vaccinating 70% of its population against COVID-19. BHP, the world’s largest mining company, will require vaccinations for all employees and visitors to its sites in Australia.
New Zealand is looking to vaccinate upwards of 350,000 people per day next week in an accelerated effort to reopen its economy.
BMW announced new investments in lithium startup Lilac Solutions, a bid to increase efficiencies in the production of the critical electric vehicle battery metal.
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