Oil prices surged nearly 2% Thursday on signs that supply could remain tight in the coming months. WTI shot past $90/bbl for the first time since 2014 over concerns that cold weather in Texas would limit production from the U.S. Permian Basin.
Futures are set for their seventh weekly rise in a row today, with WTI up 2.0% in mid-morning trading to $92.23/bbl and Brent up 2.0% to $92.97/bbl. U.S. natural gas was 1.6% lower at $4.81/MMBtu.
Spot natural gas prices in New England shot up to an eight-year high the past few days in anticipation of this week’s severe winter storm:
British households will see a 54% jump in energy bills due to a policy change in April, prompting lawmakers to shell out $12 billion in subsidies to residents.
LNG carriers are sailing to Europe in large numbers as a growing crisis in Eastern Europe threatens to cut off Russian supplies. In its most recent announcement, Russia said it would attempt to resume oil output to 90% of pre-pandemic levels at 1.8 million bpd beginning in March.
ConocoPhillips saw quarterly profits rise to $2.6 billion, topping estimates and prompting the company to forecast a rise in output by 18% to 1.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2022.
Tanker owner Euronav saw fourth-quarter net losses of $72.6 million as spreading COVID-19 cases dragged on the recovery of the crude tanker market.
Brazil announced plans to invest $117 million to build seven wind farms in the northern state of Bahia.
U.S. airlines canceled almost 5,000 flights Thursday as a severe winter storm blanketed states from North Texas to upstate New York, dropping freezing rain and over a foot of snow in some areas. Texas’ power grid appears to be holding steady, helped in part by significant new wind power capacity taking strain off the grid, erasing initial fears of a repeat of last February’s “Texas Freeze.”
The CDC Director said the BA.2 “Stealth” variant, which so far accounts for just 1.5% of U.S. cases, is slightly more infectious than the original Omicron and should not reverse the recent surge decline.
New survey results suggest just 30% of parents of children younger than age 5 plan to have their children inoculated against COVID-19 once a shot is approved.
The U.S. Labor Department reported a 467,000 increase in employment in January, over three times analyst expectations.
The U.S. administration authorized an unusually high number of green cards for foreign professionals this year, primarily to reduce hospital staffing shortages.
U.S. work productivity jumped 6.6% in the fourth quarter, the largest advance since the beginning of the pandemic.
Average 30-year U.S. mortgage rates held at 3.55% for the third straight week, up from 2.73% one year ago.
Amazon saw revenue jump 9% in the fourth quarter to $14.3 billion, as the firm was able to stave off the worst effects of supply chain disruption and staffing shortages.
Ford reported $17.9 billion in net income last year, led primarily by a gain in its investment into electric vehicle maker Rivian and a revaluation of its pensions. The automaker expects to deliver 10-15% more vehicles across the globe this year.
The used furniture market is expected to grow nearly 40% by 2025 as designers and consumers turn to second-hand items because of long waits for new furniture.
MIT researchers claim to have developed a two-dimensional ultra-thin polymer that is as light as plastic and stronger than steel, with hopes that the material could be used to manufacture parts for vehicles and electronics.
Plastics News reported that M. Holland earned a Bronze rating from EcoVadis, a trusted provider of business sustainability ratings. The article reports that our improved annual score for 2021 is due to progress in our diversity and inclusion program, wellness benefits, career development and more.