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Apr 28

Oil sector poised to bounce back from the coronavirus – Axios

The reports of the death of the oil industry are, to quote Mark Twain, greatly exaggerated.

Driving the news: Progressive leaders are pouncing on the current collapse in the oil sector as a sign this is the beginning of its end and a turning point for the climate-change movement. Not so fast.

The big picture:

Where it stands: A lot of potential factors could make this moment in history the beginning of the end for the oil industry, but both history and experts suggest that absent explicit actions by governments, the long-term outlook for the oil industry is at least neutral, and even possibly positive.

Lets look first at the three factors suggesting the outlook will be positive for the industry, and then three that could change things.

The three positives:

What I worry about most is history suggests when the economy is suffering, the pace of environmental policy ambition wanes, said Jason Bordoff, a former Obama administration energy official who now leads Columbia Universitys Center on Global Energy Policy. It means that policies that would slow oil demand growth may get pulled back.

Oil demand tracks closely with economic growth. It may not feel this way now, but history suggests the economy will eventually get better.

This crisis moment could actually force better financial decisions overall and weed out producers less financially secure, Bordoff says. And as the economy improves and demand recovers, "strong companies might do quite well over the next decade, Bordoff said.

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Its important to change oil demand over a period of years and decades if you want to create a sustainable reduction in emissions, said Ed Crooks, vice chairman of the Americas for consultancy Wood Mackenzie.

The three variables:

This pandemic could change our society for the long haul. Maybe

The first three would reduce oil demand, while the last three would increase it. Regardless, theyre tinkering around the edges.

By the numbers: Lower oil demand from aviation, road transport and cruise ships could result in a loss of just over three million barrels a day by 2040, compared to an overall oil market of 115 million barrels of oil a day or more by then, an S&P Global Platts Analytics analysis found.

If this is a big if countries around the world seek to infuse their economic stimulus plans with clean-energy policies, that could go a long way in keeping the oil industry on its knees where it is now.

The most immediate and obvious impact of Joe Biden winning would be that he would likely infuse clean energy into any additional stimulus measures still needed by then.

The bottom line: We might not be going anywhere right now, but neither is the oil industry.

More here:
Oil sector poised to bounce back from the coronavirus - Axios

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