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Governments unveil details of $590M investment to help Ford Oakville plant make electric cars – CBC.ca

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The governments of Ontario and Canada are set to announce details of their plan to each spend $295 million to help Ford upgrade its assembly plant in Oakville to start making electric vehicles.

The fact that the governments are chipping in cash is not new — it was a key part of last month’s $1.8-billion deal between Ford and its biggest union, Unifor, to start making five new electric car models at the plant.

Ford has put 800,000 electric cars on the road worldwide in recent years, but the company is ramping up production of electric vehicle production, because the company forecasts them to outsell fossil fuel-powered ones at some point in the next decade. The upgrade of the Ford plant will make Oakville into the company’s No 1. electric vehicle factory in North America.

Previous media reports said the governments were chipping in $500 million to the plan. On Thursday, both levels of government confirmed that they are each contributing $295 million for a total spend of $590 million.

A worker works on a Ford Edge at the Oakville, Ont., assembly plant, which will soon be retooled to start making as many as five new types of electric cars. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

“By making this investment in Ford Canada, we are ensuring our province continues to lead North America and the world in automotive manufacturing and innovation, while boosting our competitiveness in this key sector,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said. “We are also securing thousands of good-paying jobs, not just at the facility in Oakville, but across the province. This project will help support our auto parts sector and other suppliers and service providers.”

The Oakville plant currently employs about 3,400 workers. In a release, the federal government says the plan will secure 5,400 jobs across the company’s Canadian work force and supply chain.

The federal cash is in addition to the government’s prior commitments to spend more than $300 million to create a
network of fast-charging stations for electric vehicles across the country. 

And Ottawa has also handed out $239 million so far to more than 56,000 Canadians who have purchased an electric vehicle — an average of more than $4,000 apiece.

“This is a win-win,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a news event in Kanata, Ont., which was linked by video with Ford and other dignitaries on the ground in Oakville. “Today’s announcement is a testament to Canada’s attractiveness as a destination for clean technology, talent and infrastructure in the automotive industry. Companies like Ford are helping accelerate our transition to a low-carbon, clean-growth economy, which will help protect our environment, drive innovation, and create many good middle class jobs.”

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Ontario premier says residents now interact with 50 to 100 people, causing 'out of control' COVID-19 contact tracing – CTV Toronto

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TORONTO —
Premier Doug Ford says Ontario residents are now interacting with 50 to 100 people, making COVID-19 contact tracing very difficult.

“What we did see when we did contact tracing at the beginning, we’d be able to contact 10 people and trace them. Now, people are interacting with 50 to 100 and if you have 100 cases times 100, 10,000 contact tracings and then those people contact 100 and then those people – next thing you know it just flies out of control,” Ford said during a news conference held on Friday afternoon.

The premier’s comments come in response to the federal government calling on Canadians to decrease their current number of social contacts by 25 per cent in order to help curb the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While releasing new national modelling on Friday, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam and Deputy Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo said if Canadians maintain their current rate of contacts, the epidemic is forecast to resurge. They said if residents decrease their contacts by a quarter, the spread of the novel coronavirus would come under control “in most locations.”

When asked on Friday if the province is considering lowering the limits on social gatherings – currently set at 10 indoors and 25 outdoors – Ontario’s Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health said a review on the matter will take place.

“I think the bottom line is yes, we will review that obviously and consider whether we need to change the guidelines,” she said reminding people to be aware that COVID-19 generally spread between people.

“If you’re with people who are not people in your household, people you live with, you should be careful. You should minimize your contact with other people, especially within two metres, wear a mask and don’t do anything that’s not essential.”

Yaffe added that those who live alone should interact with another household to avoid social isolation.

Back in August, Ford said social circles of up to 10 people will likely be sticking around until 2021.

Ontario logged 896 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the seven-day average above 900 for the first time.

More than 74,000 cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Ontario since the first infection was recorded in late January. That number includes more than 3,100 deaths and nearly 64,000 recovered patients.

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Oil Sees Worst Month Since March – OilPrice.com

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Oil Sees Worst Month Since March | OilPrice.com

Tom Kool

Tom Kool

Tom majored in International Business at Amsterdam’s Higher School of Economics, he is Oilprice.com’s Head of Operations

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    Oil Prices

    Oil prices have hit a 5-month low as COVID cases climb, new lockdowns are put in place and reports emerge that OPEC may not maintain its production cut in 2021.

    For Global Energy Alert members there are now two new free reports available in your dashboard. The first of these reports is on how to interpret stock charts and the second outlines the three biggest mistakes made by traders today. Make sure you become a member to read these reports and many more.

    Friday, October 30th, 2020

    Oil prices plunged this week after spending months trapped in a narrow range around $40 per barrel. Renewed national lockdowns in France and Germany rattled financial markets, while the U.S. case count for covid-19 remained at record levels and may continue to rise. “As lockdowns begin to bite on demand concerns across Europe, the near-term outlook for crude starts to deteriorate,” said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi. In early trading on Friday, WTI fell to $35 per barrel and Brent was at $37.

    ExxonMobil warns of massive $30 billion write down. ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM)posted a third-quarter loss of $680 million, or 15 cents per share, a smaller loss than expected. Exxon’s debt has climbed to $68 billion, more than triple since 2014. But the bigger news was that CEO Darren Woods warned that the company may take a $30 billion write-down, largely related to its North American shale gas assets. Exxon overpaid for XTO Energy more than a decade ago, right before a steep drop in natural gas prices. 

    ExxonMobil to cut jobs; keeps dividend flat. ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) kept its dividend flat for the first time in nearly 40 years. But with a dividend yield in excess of 10%, the oil major will be under pressure going forward. Exxon will also cut 15% of its workforce, which will translate into job losses of about 1,900.

    Chevron reports small loss. Chevron (NYSE: CVX) reported a $207 million loss in the quarter.  Related: Tesla Is On Track To Deliver 1 Million EVs In 2021

    Total and Shell post small profit. Total (NYSE: TOT) reported earnings of $848 million in the third quarter, down 72% from a year ago. Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) reported a small $955 million profit in the third quarter, and hiked its dividend. The performance is dramatically better than the second quarter, but down from the $4.77 billion it earned in the third quarter of 2019. “We are starting a new era of dividend growth,” Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden told reporters.

    OPEC members reluctant to extend cuts. Three of the biggest OPEC producers behind Saudi Arabia may not be on board with extending the current cuts into next year. Iraq, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Kuwait are reportedly not particularly inclined to support a rollover of the cuts of 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd), because such cuts are too deep for their economies and budget incomes to sustain.

    Canadian oil companies post big losses. Cenovus (NYSE: CVE) and Suncor Energy (NYSE: SU) both reported modest losses for the third quarter. Husky Energy (TSE: HSE), on the other hand, reported a huge $5.2 billion loss.

    Equinor writes down $2.9 billion. Equinor (NYSE: EQNR) wrote down $2.93 billionthis week after it revised down its assumptions on long-term crude oil and natural gas prices. The largest portion of the impairment came from a $1.38 billion write-down on its U.S. shale assets. 

    The Interior finalizes NPR-A drilling plan. The Trump administration finalized plans to expand drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A). ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) is the main player in the area.

    Conoco warns Alaska voters not to pass tax. Alaskan voters will weigh a ballot measure that would impose a new tax on oil production. ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) said it would stop drilling on the north slope if the tax passes. 

    Environmentalists want Biden to use financial regulation. Environmental groups are urging the Biden campaign to use financial regulation to address climate change. That would include using the Department of Treasury and the Federal Reserve to prioritize climate change. 

    BNEF: Green power to attract $11 trillion by 2050. Renewable energy will draw in roughly $11 trillion in investment by mid-century.

    Energy investment dries up. Energy investment is set to fall by a whopping 35% this year, according to the IEA. And this is just the spending slump in upstream oil and gas.

    Will a fracking boom ever happen in Mexico? Mexico is sitting on top of the sixth biggest collective shale reserve in the entire world. At an estimated total of 545 trillion cubic feet, they’re just a hair behind the United States’ estimated 665 trillion cubic feet. So why hasn’t Mexico had its own shale revolution?

    Related: Washington Greenlights Conoco Oil Project In Alaska

    North Dakota repurposes covid aid for fracking. North Dakota decided to use $16 million given to the state from federal coronavirus relief aid and used the money to subsidize drilling

    Repsol invests more in renewables than oil and gas. Spanish oil giant Repsol (BME: REP) has invested more in renewable energy projects in recent months than it has on oil and gas exploration.

    Asia LNG prices surge, but rally takes a pause. Prices for LNG earlier this year fell below $2/MMBtu (JKM prices), a dramatic collapse due to oversupply. The crash forced widespread LNG cancellations from the United States. JKM prices have since surged above $7/MMBtu, but the rally took a breather this week. U.S. LNG has returned, adding supply to the Asian market. Also, Asian buyers are finishing up their winter purchases, so the demand pressure could ease. 

    Other earnings roundup: Imperial Oil (TSE: IMO) ekes out a small profit; Phillips 66(NYSE: PSX) reported a smaller-than-expected Q3 loss; Xcel Energy (NASDAQ: XEL) reported a Q3 profit; Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE: COG) reported a small loss; Devon Energy (NYSE: DVN) reported a worse-than-expected net loss.

    By Tom Kool for Oilprice.com 

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      Exxon posts record loss, warns of epic $30bn shale writedown – Aljazeera.com

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      Energy giant Exxon Mobil Corp is facing its biggest crisis since the 1970s as the pandemic guts oil and gas demand.

      Exxon Mobil Corp. warned it may take up to $30 billion in writedowns on natural gas fields as crashing energy demand and prices spurred a historic losing streak.

      Exxon is confronting one of its biggest crises since Saudi Arabia began nationalizing its oilfields in the 1970s. If the company takes the full $30 billion impairment, it will be the industry’s worst in more than a decade, according to Bloomberg data.

      The company lost $680 million, or 15 cents a share, during the third quarter, compared with the 25-cent per-share loss forecast in a Bloomberg survey of analysts. The shares fell 1.3% to $32.53 at 9:34 a.m. in New York and are down more than 50% for the year.

      That was in stark contrast to Chevron Corp., which disclosed a surprise profit as the company’s oil-production and refining divisions outperformed analysts’ expectations. Chevron’s shares dipped 0.4%. European supermajors Total SE, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc also turned in better-than-expected third-quarter performances.

      Blindsided by the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, Exxon Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods abruptly ditched an ambitious rebuilding effort and imposed widespread job cuts that are unprecedented in Exxon’s modern history. His top priority has been preserving a dividend that pays shareholders $3.7 billion every three months.

      The firings and layoffs announced Thursday will affect 14,000 workers in the U.S. and abroad. Pandemic-induced lockdowns have crushed demand for oil, natural gas and chemicals, sending Exxon’s finances into a tailspin. Prior to 2020, the company hadn’t posted a quarterly loss in at least three decades.

      Woods’s turnaround effort took another hit Friday when the company said an internal assessment is under way to determine the future of its North American gas assets. Much of those fields were added to Exxon’s portfolio a decade ago with the $35 billion takeover of XTO Energy Inc., when American gas prices were almost twice the current level.

      Oil Sands

      The company may incur additional impairments on assets in Canada, where operations include the massive Kearl oil-sands complex in Alberta. Although third-quarter results outperformed expectations, the company is still struggling to generate enough cash to fund dividend payments and capital projects.

      Exxon’s cash flow has all but evaporated, Woods’s aggressive rebuilding plan has ground to a halt, and criticism is growing over the company’s climate strategy. The most immediate question for investors is how long the $15 billion a year in dividends survive.

      What Bloomberg Intelligence Says

      Exxon appears poised to wait for peers to drop, before it takes the necessary step of cutting its dividend. Regardless of a recovery, its capital structure looks unsustainable, as its portfolio requires significant spending to restore returns.

      — Fernando Valle, energy analyst

      Meanwhile, Chevron and BP eked out profits after slashing costs. Shell exceeded all analysts’ forecasts by posting almost $1 billion in adjusted profit. The Anglo-Dutch giant also dangled the promise of fattening the dividend that’s dwindled to less than half of its year-ago value. also surpassed estimates.

      Exxon stock has underperformed Chevron but outpaced Shell and BP. The drop has sent Exxon’s dividend yield soaring to more than 10%, a level that indicates investors expect the payout to be cut.

      To defend the dividend and appease investors, Woods is implementing an extensive internal cost-cutting drive. Exxon cut $10 billion in capital spending in April and said Friday that 2021 spending will fall as much as another $7 billion.

      As if its financial performance wasn’t enough to worry about, Exxon is under pressure from critics to reset its climate strategy. Its European rivals have all committed to some form of carbon neutrality by mid-century but earlier this month Woods underscored his faith in fossil fuels. Oil and gas will still make up about half the global energy mix in 2040 and provide the most cost-effective pathway to development in poor countries, Woods told employees in the email.

      (Updates share prices in third, fourth paragraphs)
      –With assistance from Laura Hurst and Javier Blas.

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