Crude prices were higher in early trading today, with the WTI up 1.2% at $61.99/bbl and Brent 1.2% higher at $64.85/bbl. Natural gas was 1.9% lower at $2.76/MMBtu.
U.S. crude oil stockpiles surged by more than 21 million barrels last week, a record, as refineries took steep hits after mid-February’s Texas freeze.
Gasoline stockpiles fell by 13.6 million barrels last week, the biggest drop since 1990, which could push pump prices above $3/gallon for the first time since 2014.
Last week, the Baker Hughes count of active rigs in the U.S. increased by five to 402 from the prior week but remained well below the 790 active rigs in the prior-year period.
Exxon predicts carbon capture will be a $2 trillion market by 2040 and that it is the cheapest way to address emissions, as the company makes plans to commercialize the technology in a new business unit. Exxon plans to constrain capital spending and maintain oil production at this year’s level in coming years in order to focus on debt reduction and achieving emission targets.
With increasing investments into renewable energy, BP, Shell and Total are diving into a fast-growing market dominated by utility companies.
A revised ethane agreement between Pemex and Braskem Idesa ties pricing to the international reference price, reduces the term to through 2024, and calls for cooperation between the firms in setting up a gas import terminal.
The U.S. Postal Service is mulling whether to partner with private commercial services for last-mile deliveries of goods to international destinations, potentially moving ahead with plans by the end of the month.
FedEx announced a $2 billion plan to electrify its vehicles on a path toward carbon neutrality by 2040.
BMW will begin using trucks powered by liquefied natural gas to deliver engines to an assembly plant in Germany, part of the company’s goal to make all the cargo transport for its operations carbon neutral by 2050.
General Motors is extending production cuts at three North American plants due to a continuing global shortage of semiconductor chips.
Texas’s grid operator released the names of eight more energy companies that have failed to pay nearly $1 billion for power and services during February’s cold front. Meanwhile, the state’s electricity regulator ordered further cuts to emergency fees paid to generators, potentially protecting consumers from exorbitant bills received after the storm.
ERCOT, operator of the Texas power grid, fired its CEO yesterday as the fallout continues from the mid-February winter storm.
Injection molder Confer Plastics announced 40 layoffs due to raw material shortages attributed to the recent winter storm that crippled Gulf Coast resin production coupled with the prioritization of limited available supplies to essential products.
Logistics conditions remain strained, with trucking demand exceeding availability and continued congestion at ports due in part to operating challenges related to the pandemic. Clients are advised to provide expanded lead times on orders to help ensure delivery dates.
New COVID-19 cases in the U.S. increased yesterday to 65,909, while deaths also jumped to 2,468. Over 80 million vaccine doses have been administered, with 8.2% of the population fully vaccinated.
Some of the biggest U.S. retail, theater, hotel and restaurant chains will continue to require mask-wearing in their Texas locations after the state drops COVID-related restrictions next week.
The federal government is mandating that masks be worn on all freight and passenger rail operations, a supplement to the White House’s recent directive to require mask-wearing at airports and on planes.
U.S. commuting is slowly increasing, reaching its highest level since March 2020 last week.
New York City says COVID-19 vaccines will be available to all adults as soon as late April.
Researchers are quickly developing a method of administering COVID-19 vaccines without the use of a syringe and needle, garnering significant investment dollars and big-name partners in the process.
The world’s fastest-developed vaccine prior to COVID-19 took four years to create, while new mRNA technology allowed Pfizer and other companies to produce coronavirus shots in mere months.
American Airlines and United Airlines will begin providing workers with Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot COVID-19 vaccine at Chicago’s O’Hare airport.
Thousands of California farmers, many of whom are undocumented, are being pulled into pop-up vaccination clinics hosted by their employers as agriculture growers seek to immunize an essential part of their workforce.
The U.S. birth rate could fall by 300,000 this year due to the pandemic, mirroring a drop in fertility rates in other industrialized countries that could portend long-term social and economic consequences.
After weeks of decline, global COVID-19 infections rose 7% last week, causing concern for the World Health Organization.
Brazil set a daily record for COVID-19 deaths for the second consecutive day as the virus rages in Sao Paulo, the nation’s largest city.
India’s Bharat Biotech COVID-19 vaccine is 81% effective, a boon for one of the world’s most populated countries.
French health authorities are urging that AstraZeneca/Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine be made available to all people over 65 years old after the country largely restricted the vaccine’s use to only a fraction of its population.
German lawmakers agreed to a phaseout of COVID-19 curbs yesterday, a five-stage plan beginning with easing household gathering limits on March 8.
Research in the U.K. showed Pfizer/BioNTech’s and AstraZeneca/Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccines reduced the risk of hospitalization for COVID-19 by 80% in elderly patients.
The European Union and China are both moving ahead with plans for vaccine passports that would declare a person’s vaccination status or recent test results.
Mexico’s peso is expected to fluctuate erratically next quarter amid uncertainty caused by the administration’s push toward increasing state control over its electricity industry. The country’s GDP is expected to rise nearly 5% this year, higher than initially predicted after suffering its steepest recession in almost 90 years in 2020.
Thai Airways will cut 50% of its workforce and significantly reduce its aircraft in operation due to the continued downturn in air travel.
After reporting the biggest loss in its history, Lufthansa remained pessimistic about prospects for the airline industry, forecasting continuing struggles this year and no return to pre-pandemic demand until 2025.
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