In the past couple weeks, the world’s top five oil firms (BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and Total) reported combined losses of $53 billion for the second quarter. This week, BP announced it would cut production by the equivalent of a million barrels of oil per day until 2030 as part of a plan to reach “net zero” greenhouse emissions by mid-century. As the global pandemic continues to batter industries worldwide, it appears the coronavirus has sped up big oil’s shift to green.
The extraordinary growth in solar energy has been stopped in its tracks as a result of the global pandemic. Many new projects that would have made 2020 the largest growth year for the sector to date have been put on hold for the foreseeable future. Luckily, the stalled growth of the solar sector is just that – projects have simply been put on hold. As the world transitions to a new post-pandemic society, growth in solar power generation will resume its upward trajectory. While two decades of growth in the solar energy sector has been stunted by the coronavirus pandemic, the outlook for the future remains positive.
Oil majors around the world have begun to release their second quarter earnings and the results are dismal. Royal Dutch Shell reported a staggering $18 billion quarterly loss, Total reported an $8 billion loss, Chevron at $8 billion as well, and while much less severe than their peers, ConocoPhillips reported $1 billion in losses. More reports will be released in the coming days but the true effects of the global pandemic and price war are starting to show and it does not look great for the oil and gas industry.
Instead of a push towards renewable energy, the world should be focused on a push towards clean energy. Those two terms are often used interchangeably especially when green energy advocacy groups are pressuring policymakers to campaign for the use of wind, solar, and electric vehicles. But as the world pushes towards clean energy during the green revolution and begins the transition to renewables, we must ask ourselves: with the shift away from fossil fuels, what is the true cost of clean, green, renewable energy?
Chevron finally pulled the trigger with their unspent Anadarko money from last year, purchasing Noble Energy in an all stock deal for ~$13 billion. This acquisition ends a long drought of deals and puts Chevron back in the news almost two years after putting Anadarko in play and ultimately standing aside to let Occidental buy it. This also marks the largest transaction in the oil industry since the start of the global pandemic.
The cost to produce a barrel of oil varies throughout the world and impacts the determination of global benchmark prices. If only a portion of global supply is economic at current commodity prices, global demand will be what influences the price floor. Once inventories are drawn down, supply/demand economics will drive up the price of oil to ensure supply can meet demand. Be sure to check out the periodical below for an in depth analysis of the economic price to produce a barrel of oil around the world, and why global demand will be the driver for oil prices to set a $55-60/bbl floor for the foreseeable future.
During the OPEC+ meeting on Wednesday, members made the decision to uphold the agreed upon production cuts from their April meeting. With 107% compliance with output cuts in June and economies restarting worldwide causing oil demand to quickly pick up steam, most experts expected a reduction in the agreed upon 7.7 million barrel per day cut for August. Sometimes you just have to expect the unexpected.
At the end of March during the peak of the pandemic, the Federal Reserve was authorized to buy tens of billions of dollars in corporate bonds from the energy industry. These actions, paired with those taken by the Federal Government to save the oil and gas industry, were met with harsh criticism because the industry was struggling long before the global pandemic and seemed to simply be delaying the inevitable.