Oil prices jumped to a 12-week high this morning on news of successful tests of a third COVID-19 vaccine. In early trading today the WTI was up 1.1% at $42.87/bbl and Brent up 1.5% at $45.611/bbl. Natural gas was 1.7% higher at $2.70/MMBtu.
Shell announced it will downsize to six refining-chemical integrated parks in its post-pandemic plan to transition to lower-carbon and renewable energy, particularly hydrogen, in pursuit of its goal for net-zero emission by 2050.
Pandemic-induced refinery closures have shut down 2 million bpd of refinery capacity in 2020, with a weak outlook for jet fuel and crude potentially keeping many of them closed for good.
The International Energy Agency predicts China could overtake the U.S. in refining capacity as early as next year, a result of ongoing trends sped up by COVID-19.
Canada’s Alberta Province has established a $30 billion incentive program, the Alberta Petrochemical Incentive Program, to bolster its position as a leading center for petrochemicals and energy production.
INEOS Group is partnering with Hyundai to provide hydrogen to further the development and adoption of fuel cell technology for automobiles.
As the U.S. heads into the holiday season, major ports are seeing unprecedented bottlenecks from a collision of factors, including labor and equipment shortages along with record imports.
The U.S. maritime regulator will investigate ocean carriers at several ports for sending back empty containers to Asia and blocking U.S. agricultural exports from crucial access to foreign markets.
Hawaii is the only state with declining infections.
The U.S. has set records for hospitalizations each day since November 10, culminating in more than 83,000 on Saturday. Twenty-two percent of hospitals say they expect to experience critical staffing shortages in the next week.
Despite the federal government’s recommendation to the contrary, more than a million people flew through U.S. domestic airports on Friday in the start of a holiday uptick in travel.
Late-stage trial results show AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 to be as much as 70% to 90% effective in preventing infections without serious side effects. It is the third experimental vaccine to report similar results.
At least 11 companies are vying to compete in the electric vehicle market with Tesla, the world’s largest EV maker with a stock market value greater than Toyota, Volkswagen, General Motors and Ford combined.
Amazon has established a ubiquitous presence in the automotive industry, selling vehicles and parts, developing and utilizing electric vehicles, pioneering self-driving technology, and providing voice-command technology.
Japanese officials are considering attendance limits for sports and other large events after a spike in infections.
In Europe, people over 60 make up more than nine in 10 fatalities from COVID-19.
Canada extended its ban on non-essential border crossings with the U.S. until December 21.
Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, has dipped into recession territory after reporting a 3.6% decline in third-quarter GDP, following a 6.1% contraction in the previous quarter. The country is suffering from a loss of foreign-exchange earnings and government revenue due to collapsing oil demand.
The G20 group of industrialized nations agreed to extend a freeze on debt-service payments from the world’s poorest nations until mid-2021.
The European economy is again contracting due to renewed lockdowns, with the region’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) dropping from 50 in October, the threshold indicating economic growth, to 45.1 in November.
The PMI in Germany slipped in November but remained in growth territory above 50 as a strong industrial sector offset declines in the services sector. In contrast, the PMI in France plunged to 39.9 from 47.5 in October, the third consecutive monthly decline.
With a forecasted contraction in the fourth quarter, Italy’s economy is at risk of a second recession as cases rise and lockdown measures are reimposed.
Danone, the world’s largest yogurt maker, is cutting 2,000 jobs due in part to a collapse of bottled water sales caused by restaurant closures during the pandemic.
Led by Nestle, the U.K.’s three largest coffee pod brands are partnering to form a national recycling scheme, where consumers can drop the controversial single-use plastic pods into supermarket curbside collections or doorstep baskets for those grocery shopping online for home delivery.
Our latest Founders Series video is a tribute to Joan Holland, co-founder and matriarch of M. Holland, who recently passed away. Watch the video here.
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