A recent report calculates that oil producing nations face a $9 trillion income decline as the world shifts to renewable energy, prompting a warning for oil-dependent countries to diversify their economies.
Brookfield Infrastructure made a $5.6 billion unsolicited offer to acquire Canadian midstream giant Inter Pipeline, which manages 4,300 miles of pipelines, 5 million barrels of oil storage in western Canada, and a PDH/PP complex under construction in Alberta.
In a strategy update yesterday, Royal Dutch Shell said its oil production has peaked and will decline by 1% to 2% annually moving forward, with its production of “traditional fuels” down 55% by the end of the decade. The company also said it will freeze salaries and eliminate bonuses this year to preserve cash.
Baystar, a joint venture between Total and Borealis, will start its new Port Arthur, Texas, ethane cracker by the end of March with over a million-tonnes-per-year capacity, while a new 625,000-tonne-per-year polyethylene unit in Pasadena will start by March 2022.
Despite slashing its capital expenditures for 2021, ExxonMobil plans to complete a new ethane cracker, polyethylene and mono-ethylene glycol chemical complex in Corpus Christi by the end of the year, several months ahead of schedule.
Braskem is forecasting a tight market for North American polypropylene in early 2021 due to low inventories and non-pandemic-related maintenance issues.
Renewable energy such as wind and solar power is expected to surpass natural gas as the predominant source of U.S. electricity generation by 2030. Around the same time, U.S. crude production is expected to level off as Wall Street investment shifts away from fossil fuels.
Logistics conditions remain strained, with trucking demand exceeding availability, continuing congestion at ports, and backlogs at warehousing and packaging facilities due in part to operating challenges related to the pandemic. Shipping containers are in short supply, with demurrage charges rising. Clients are advised to provide expanded lead times on orders to help ensure delivery dates.
There were 94,704 new COVID-19 infections in the U.S. yesterday and 3,364 fatalities.
The White House is considering domestic travel restrictions as several virulent strains, including from the U.K., South Africa and Brazil, spread in Florida, threatening hard-fought progress against the pandemic.
The Federal Reserve will continue the path of low interest rates and hefty asset purchases to bolster the economy, noting that the real unemployment rate is closer to 10% rather than the official 6.3% reported by the government. Bank officials also are calling on a “society-wide commitment” to returning employment for minorities and those terminated from lower-paying jobs during the pandemic.
The U.S. budget gap hit a record $736 billion during 2021’s first four fiscal months, an 89% increase from the year-ago period, led by a record $163 billion deficit in January, five times the previous year, as new coronavirus relief payments were sent out.
American goods exports to China rose 17.1% last year as the U.S. reduced its overall trade deficit in goods by 10%.
American businesses and consumers increased borrowing last year but paid back even more as lenders saw their loan books shrink in 2020 for only the second time in 28 years, leaving banks flush with cash and hopeful loan growth will pick up this year.
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