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Souring Fundamentals Force Brent Crude Oil Below $40 – OilPrice.com

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Souring Fundamentals Force Brent Crude Oil Below $40 | OilPrice.com

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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    Both the President and First Lady of the United States have tested positive for COVID-19 on a day when Brent oil prices crash below $40 and the U.S. rig count climbed.

    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 2nd, 2020

    Crude prices fell on Friday following news that President Donald Trump tested positive for the coronavirus. Broader equities also tumbled. As of midday trading, Brent was down more than 4 percent, dipping below $40 per barrel. 

    Shale companies did poorly, but executives got paid. A Wall Street Journal analysis found that the median pay for executives of U.S. oil and gas companies rose for four consecutive years to $13 million in 2019, up from $9.9 million in 2015. Over that time period, median shareholder returns fell 35 percent. Energy was the worst-performing sector in the S&P 500, but shale CEOs received larger raises last year than in all but two of the 11 major industries analyzed. 

    Moody’s: Natural gas faces long-term investment risk. A combination of legal challenges to natural gas pipelines, policies aimed at reducing emissions, and public scrutiny over natural gas could lead to a “measured reduction” in natural gas demand over the next two to three decades, according to a new report from Moody’s Investor Relations. “We’re raising the flag,” Ryan Wobbrock, vice president and senior credit officer at Moody’s Investors Service Inc. and the lead analyst on the report, told E&E News. “We’re talking about a multidecade horizon of risk.”

    Natural gas prices could soar. The highly volatile U.S. natural gas benchmark prices are set to trend higher in the coming months amid lower domestic production, higher demand in the winter, and recovering global gas prices in Europe and Asia. Henry Hub prices have been volatile over the past few weeks, but have firmed up at around $2.50/MMBtu, sharply higher than levels from just a few months ago. 

    ExxonMobil stock falls on likely dim Q3 numbers. In an SEC filing on Thursday, ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) provided a Q3 earnings considerations update of its expectations for the third-quarter results relative to the second quarter. On Friday, Exxon’s share price fell roughly 2 percent, dipping to $32.47 per share, nearing a multi-decade low hit earlier this year. 

    NextEra considers $60 billion takeover of Duke Energy. NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE) recently approached Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), exploring what would be a $60 billion combination of two major utilities. 

    Oasis Petroleum files for bankruptcy. Oasis Petroleum (NASDAQ: OAS) filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday, the latest driller to fall victim to the downturn. 

    Demand concerns continue. U.S. gasoline demand remained flat for most of the third quarter, undercutting hopes of a rebound. “It’s hard to paint the bullish demand story for energy in the short term…I just don’t see it,” said Jennifer Rowland, senior energy analyst for Edward Jones. “Instead, I see all the warning signs.”

    Oil traders doubt OPEC+ increases production. OPEC+ is scheduled to further unwind production cuts beginning in January, adding 2 mb/d back onto the market. But some traders doubt that the group will follow through due to weak demand. “I don’t think OPEC will increase production in January…If they do, the market will test them to the downside,” Pierre Andurand, founder and chief investment office at Andurand Capital, told the FT Global Commodities Summit. Related: Iraq Ships More Crude Oil Despite OPEC Output Cut Pledge

    Trump signs executive order on rare earths. U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order declaring a national emergency in the mining industry, a move that seeks to curb the country’s reliance on rare earths in his latest bid to end China’s control of the market.

    Another round of industry layoffs. Marathon Petroleum (NYSE: MPC) began cutting jobs on Tuesday, with about 12 percent of its workforce set to be let go. Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) said it would eliminate 9,000 jobs. Chevron (NYSE: CVX) and ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) are in the process of restructuring. 

    Total doesn’t see peak demand until 2030. While BP (NYSE: BP) said that the world likely already passed peak oil demand, French oil giant Total (NYSE: TOT) said in a new report that peak demand remains a decade away. Total said that it would boost spending on renewables to $3 billion annually by then and that it would cut sales of gasoline and diesel by 30 percent. 

    Ohio cancels permit for gas storage. Ohio environmental regulators have canceled key permits needed for an underground natural gas liquids storage facility, dimming hopes that the region will become a major natural gas liquids storage hub that would bolster the buildout of a broader petrochemical hub.

    Abandoned wells could leave billions of dollars to taxpayers. U.S. taxpayers could be on the hook for tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars in clean up costs for abandoned wells as a growing number of producers collapse into bankruptcy, according to a new report from Carbon Tracker. Related: Natural Gas Prices Explode On Stronger Demand

    Denmark gives greenlight to Nord Stream 2. Denmark gave the go-ahead to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, boosting a project that is more than 90 percent complete, but that has been held up recently because of U.S. sanctions and a backlash over the suspected poisoning of a Russian opposition leader by the Kremlin. 

    Vietnam approves $5 billion LNG project. Vietnamese city Haiphong approved of a $5 billion LNG project to be developed by ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM).

    Attempts to open up Atlantic Coast for drilling on brink of collapse. The Trump administration’s efforts to open up the Atlantic to offshore oil and gas exploration could collapse as permits for seismic testing by four companies are set to expire without being renewed. 

    $110 billion in asset sales could be difficult to pull off. Large oil and gas companies have proposed as much as $110 billion in asset sales in an effort to cut back on debt, but finding buyers could prove tricky. “This is not a very good time to sell assets,” Total (NYSE: TOT) CEO Patrick Pouyanne said on Wednesday.

    By Tom Kool for Oilprice.com 

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      When it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, how good will be good enough? – National Post

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      Article content continued

      The difficulty is, hospital admissions and deaths from COVID-19 are uncommon, and it would require a large population over a longer period to accumulate enough deaths to see a difference between the vaccine and placebo group, Kimmelman said.

      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has set a minimum target of 50 per cent efficacy for a COVID-19 vaccine, meaning a vaccine would have to be 50 per cent better than a placebo at preventing disease.

      In an early-stage study, Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine produced neutralizing antibodies in 45 healthy, 18- to 55-year-olds who received two vaccinations, 28 days apart, the company reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. Side effects — fatigue, chills, headache or muscle aches — occurred in more than half the participants.

      Dr. Jacqueline Miller, head of Moderna’s infectious diseases development, told last week’s FDA advisory panel meeting that more than 25,000 people have received both doses of its study vaccine, or a placebo, and that the vaccine was designed to evaluate Americans “at the highest risk of severe COVID disease.” Forty-two per cent of study participants are older adults or people with heart disease, diabetes or other underlying conditions, Miller added.

      A technician works in a lab at Sinovac Biotech where the company is producing their potential COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac during a media tour on Sept. 24, 2020 in Beijing, China. Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

      AstraZeneca’s vaccine, developed with Oxford University, has produced an immune response in both the young and old, Reuters reported this week. Less clear is how well an antibody response translates into how well any vaccine can actually fend off COVID.

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      Fastly Announces Third Quarter 2020 Financial Results – Business Wire

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      SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fastly, Inc. (NYSE: FSLY), provider of an edge cloud platform, today posted its financial results for the third quarter 2020 in its shareholder letter on the Investor Relations section of its website at https://investors.fastly.com.

      “Despite the customer-specific challenges we faced this quarter, we are pleased with the continued strength and resilience of our business, including a 42% year-over-year top-line growth in the third quarter,” said Joshua Bixby, CEO of Fastly. “We not only continued to gain new customers, with the second-highest quarter of new customer additions since going public, but we also expanded our engagement with existing customers. Looking ahead, we remain confident in the future of Fastly. Customers are increasingly relying on our platform to transform their businesses, and we are delivering on two key pillars of our long-term strategy with Secure@Edge and Compute@Edge.”

      Fastly management will host a live Q&A session today at 2:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. ET to discuss financial results and outlook.

      Fastly Third Quarter 2020 Q&A Session

      When: Wednesday, October 28, 2020

      Time: 2:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. ET

      Conference ID: 2491525

      Live Call: (833) 968-2077 (US/Canada) or (236) 714-2139 (International)

      Webcast: https://investors.fastly.com

      The webcast will be archived on the investor relations site following the call.

      About Fastly

      Fastly helps people stay better connected with the things they love. Fastly’s edge cloud platform enables customers to create great digital experiences quickly, securely, and reliably by processing, serving, and securing our customers’ applications as close to their end-users as possible — at the edge of the internet. Fastly’s platform is designed to take advantage of the modern internet, to be programmable, and to support agile software development with unmatched visibility and minimal latency, empowering developers to innovate with both performance and security. Fastly’s customers include many of the world’s most prominent companies, including Vimeo, Pinterest, The New York Times, and GitHub.

      This press release contains “forward-looking” statements that are based on our beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to us on the date of this press release. Forward-looking statements may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our future financial and operating performance, including our outlook and guidance, our ability to gain new customers and expand engagement with existing customers, our customers’ reliance on our platform to transform their business, and our ability to deliver on our long-term strategy. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future. Important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially are detailed from time to time in the reports Fastly files with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, and our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Copies of reports filed with the SEC are posted on Fastly’s website and are available from Fastly without charge.

      Source: Fastly, Inc.

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      Canadians are feeling pandemic fatigue. Experts say ‘greater good’ message isn’t enough – Global News

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      COVID-weary. COVID-tired. COVID-fatigued.

      No matter how you chop it up, the feeling likely resonates for many at this point in the coronavirus pandemic. Months of isolation, fears and lifestyle changes have taken its toll. In turn, following COVID-19 safety guidelines has begun to feel like more and more of a challenge.

      A new poll puts into perspective just how fatigued Canadians are. The poll, conducted by Ipsos, found nearly half of Canadians are getting tired of following public health recommendations and rules related to the virus. The feeling of burnout was most prominent in Quebec (52 per cent) and Alberta (53 per cent) and less so in British Columbia (34 per cent).

      Read more:
      Coronavirus ‘fatigue’ is real, but we can’t give up, says World Health Organization

      The challenge now — both for people and policymakers — is tackling it.

      Story continues below advertisement

      Igor Grossmann, psychology professor and director of the Wisdom and Culture Lab at the University of Waterloo, said understanding the situation at hand might help strengthen our resolve.

      “We often get this ‘hunker down and get through it’ message,” he said. “But if we start accepting that this is a marathon situation, the sooner we develop meaning out of the situation.”


      Click to play video 'Riots in Italy, pushback in Spain over COVID-19 curfews and rules'



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      Riots in Italy, pushback in Spain over COVID-19 curfews and rules


      Riots in Italy, pushback in Spain over COVID-19 curfews and rules

      Falling off the bandwagon

      Not only has the medley of measures imposed by countries plunged economies into a sharp contraction, it’s also had a profound impact on people’s psychological well-being. Nine months since the lockdown, rules and restrictions still keep many aspects of life fenced in. In a separate poll, 25 per cent of Canadians said their stress level is higher than during the first COVID-19 wave.


      Click to play video 'Coronavirus: How stress and fatigue is taking its toll in the pandemic'



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      Coronavirus: How stress and fatigue is taking its toll in the pandemic


      Coronavirus: How stress and fatigue is taking its toll in the pandemic

      Understandably, “we’re exhausted,” said Steven Joordens, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

      Story continues below advertisement

      High-stress situations often elicit a “fight-or-flight” response, he said, but that reaction is “meant to be short term.”

      “When there’s a predator in front of you, you either take on the predator or get the heck away from them. Either way, 15 or 20 minutes and it’s over, and you come out of that state,” he said.

      “We’ve had this predator staring in our face for months.”

      What’s followed is a collective burnout or exhaustion, and everyone experiences it differently. Some may feel restless, irritable, lack motivation or have difficulty concentrating on tasks. Some people may find themselves withdrawing from socializing, while others might feel physical symptoms like changes in eating and sleep habits. Young people are particularly susceptible, according to Joordens.

      Read more:
      As cases increase, are Montrealers suffering from ‘COVID-19 fatigue’?


      Click to play video 'How ‘pandemic fatigue’ could be leading to case surge'



      4:45
      How ‘pandemic fatigue’ could be leading to case surge


      How ‘pandemic fatigue’ could be leading to case surge

      The age divide is reflected in the Ipsos poll. Pandemic fatigue was highest among Generation Z (57 per cent), Millennials (50 per cent), and Generation X (53 per cent).

      Story continues below advertisement

      The burnout has become somewhat of an adversary for governments trying to quell a second wave of the virus.

      [ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

      Canada’s top doctor has repeatedly urged Canadians “not to give into COVID-19 fatigue.” So has the WHO. Its researchers estimate that about half the population of Europe is experiencing “pandemic fatigue” as infections surge yet again.

      But the “stay home” message has expired, and experts worry the “greater good” or “we’re all in this together” message designed to keep people engaged has too.

      “It’s very abstract,” said Grossmann. “For some people, it might work. But for individuals facing economic hardships because of the crisis, or people who are more concerned about simply surviving the next day with kids running around, that doesn’t resonate anymore.”


      Click to play video 'Coronavirus: WHO acknowledges pandemic fatigue, asks people not to give up'



      0:51
      Coronavirus: WHO acknowledges pandemic fatigue, asks people not to give up


      Coronavirus: WHO acknowledges pandemic fatigue, asks people not to give up

      What needs to change?

      For one, we need to acknowledge “things are different now,” said Samantha Yammine, a neuroscientist and science communicator.

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      Not only do we know far more about the virus than in March, we also have tools to make activities safer, said Yammine. She said too much of the focus has been the “no’s” and “you cant’s” despite the public appetite for wanting to do things, but do them safely.

      “Fatigue comes from frustration.

      “If we focus on what we can’t do rather than what we can, that’s why we fatigue. It feels very limiting.”

      This is where adopting a harm reduction approach would be helpful, she said, both on an individual level and policy level.

      “Every decision is a big task. … We’re at a point where should say, ‘Here’s how you reduce your risk as much as possible.’”

      Read more:
      What is the ‘Swiss cheese model’ and how can it apply to coronavirus?

      Yammine said people need to feel empowered to make a choice through the right information.

      “I think then they’ll feel less trapped and hopefully less fatigued,” she said.

      According to the recent polling, 93 per cent of Canadians say they’re doing their best to abide by public health recommendations and rules. Support for safety measures also remains high. On masks, nearly 86 per cent of Canadians say they support the mandatory wearing of face masks when in public, with younger Canadians even more likely to be wearing them when out-and-about.

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      “We’re in this process of modifying all of our habits, and it will get easier,” said Joordens.


      Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Trudeau acknowledges COVID-19 fatigue setting in with ‘tough winter ahead’, says it ‘really sucks’'



      4:11
      Coronavirus: Trudeau acknowledges COVID-19 fatigue setting in with ‘tough winter ahead’, says it ‘really sucks’


      Coronavirus: Trudeau acknowledges COVID-19 fatigue setting in with ‘tough winter ahead’, says it ‘really sucks’

      He said it was trickiest when things first reopened, which might have sent out mixed signals. When governments opted to open bars, restaurants and gyms, even with new rules, he said some people might have interpreted that as these places being safe or safer.

      “Habits are triggered by the environment. So as soon as you go back into that bar, everything about it triggers you to behave like you did the last time you were there,” he said.

      “The hope is that we develop new habits over time to keep up with the changes.”

      But it won’t be easy, said Grossmann. He said the vagueness in some of the ever-changing recommendations deviates from the core message — that “this won’t be over anytime soon.”

      Story continues below advertisement

      “Not every situation is alike, but we need to figure out how to balance something that is challenging in different ways across different provinces and different municipalities,” he said.

      “You don’t want a new rule to come in and have people say, ‘Well, that doesn’t apply to me.’”

      Read more:
      A Canadian coronavirus winter is looming — and it could ‘amplify loneliness’

      What can you do personally?

      A looming winter will provide an extra challenge, experts agree. Weariness over restrictions might grow as cold weather forces people indoors.

      It comes down to arming yourself with the “basics,” said Joordens — a good night’s sleep, good nutrition and routine exercise.

      “Leading a random life makes our body unhappy,” he said. “You have to find activities that bring you to a better place mentally.”

      Before the snow piles up, think about ways to get outdoors in advance, he said. And once it does, make sure you stay connected socially.


      Click to play video 'Winter blues setting in? How to cope during colder months'



      4:25
      Winter blues setting in? How to cope during colder months


      Winter blues setting in? How to cope during colder months

      “I recommend the phone because people actually pay attention when they’re talking to you on the phone,” he said with a laugh.

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      It’s also good to remember that we’re not perfect, said Yammine.

      “We’re still going to face tough decisions. It’s still going to feel exhausting,” she said. But keeping up with the twist-and-turns of pandemic rules and recommendations is “like any goal you can set.”

      “A New Year’s resolution, even,” she said.

      “People often say you give up on your resolution the first time you slip up — but that’s not the right thinking. Just because maybe you have more riskier encounter or you just don’t care one day, it doesn’t mean you can’t do better the next.”

      “Risk is cumulative. It doesn’t need to be all or nothing. We can try again.”

      These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 23-26, 2020, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

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      © 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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