Year: 2020

Post-COVID Global Oil Demand Update – EOY 2020 & the Impact of Second-Wave Shutdowns

Data shows world crude oil demand in the first quarter of 2020 declined by the largest volume in history – even exceeding declines during the 2009 financial crisis. As economic recovery resumes, the demand for hydrocarbons will begin to rise and will quickly surpass pre-pandemic levels. While the timeline has been delayed as a result of a second wave of lockdowns and sustained travel restrictions, people around the world will still need plastics for their daily activities, roads and vehicles to travel from place to place, goods and services created and shipped with hydrocarbons, and other consumables derived from crude oil. While initial recovery estimates by RARE PETRO, the IEA, and EIA have changed, hydrocarbon demand will still eventually recover to pre-pandemic levels for several reasons.

Falling Short of Demand

The year 2020 has certainly been a wild one in all aspects of both society and the global economy, but has also left the global petroleum industry in disarray. When global oil demand eventually returns to pre-pandemic levels and ultimately continues to grow, will the world have enough crude to meet demand for the upward trajectory of energy consumption? According to Rystad Energy, the answer is no. They predict the world is on track to run out of sufficient oil supplies to meet its needs through 2050, despite lower future demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the accelerating energy transition. There may not be enough supply in the next 30 years unless exploration speeds up significantly and exploratory capital expenditures of at least $3 trillion is put to the task.

In The Hot Seat

An iconic brand known for cold weather gear is finding itself in the hot seat after refusing to serve West Texas based Innovex Downhole Solutions. Innovex wanted to get its employees The North Face jackets with the company logo on them for Christmas. When the company reached out to The North Face, however, their request was denied based on their industry. Now, the clothing brand is in the hot seat after Innovex CEO Adam Anderson wisely pointed out to a North Face representative how essential the products of the oil and gas industry are for their business.

Does The World Really Want High Oil Prices?

With global economies opening back up with the release of a vaccine for the global pandemic, global oil demand is returning and with it, higher oil prices. Unfortunately for consumers, higher oil prices mean higher prices at the pump in addition to increased costs of many manufactured goods. Since hydrocarbons are wound deep into nearly every facet of our society, price changes are inevitably felt in many sectors of the economy. As oil prices rise, associated production costs will be passed through to consumers rather than kept at the bottom line of operators or refineries. When oil prices rise in the near term, it will be better for investors and the remaining companies in the industry at the expense of people consuming the final products produced.

Moving In Opposite Directions

Last Friday, Baker Hughes reported that the number of oil rigs in the United States rose by 5 to 246 which is the highest number of rigs since mid-May. While this is welcome news for many E&P companies, the news that U.S. petroleum refining capacity has fallen to its lowest level since May 2016 has the markets in a bit of a pickle; and for good reason. With these two metrics moving in opposite directions, crude and product inventories in the United States have begun to rise at a rapid rate once again. Luckily, global demand hit a two month high after wobbling in November when several European nations imposed fresh lockdowns and experts expect this trend to continue as demand for gasoline and diesel is accelerating once again.