Power Line: A historic oil price meltdown rattles the oil and gas industry, and this week's top clean-energy news
Welcome to Power Line, a weekly energy newsletter brought to you by Business Insider.This week, we dive into the oil industry, which is reeling from a historic price shock. Advertisement
Here's what you need to know:
- Want to get this newsletter in your inbox every Friday? Sign up here.
- Most of our content is available to BI Prime subscribers. Click here for 20% off.
- Got a tip? We'd love to hear it. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let's get to it.has fallen by about 60%.
- On just one day earlier this month, it plunged by 24% - the largest single-day slide since 1991.
Why? Two reasons:
- The coronavirus pandemic has been cratering demand for oil because people are traveling less.
- Negotiations between top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia to limit supply in response to evaporating demand fell apart earlier this month.
- Even worse, it sparked a price war between the two countries.
- Saudi Arabia slashed its official April prices and pledged to ramp up supply - the exact opposite of what is needed to stabilize the market.
- Shell, for example, had about $345 billion in revenue last year, per company filings - more than 3 times greater than the revenue of Target and Starbucks combined.
- The last time the price of oil crashed around 2016, nearly 200,000 people lost their jobs and companies went under.
Layoffs, furloughs, and spending cuts have already started.
So far, smaller oilfield service companies - which do everything from drilling wells to hauling out wastewater - are suffering the most, but even supermajors are slashing their spending.Click here to see all of the latest updates. If we missed a company, let us know.Advertisement
All told, the oilfield service industry could lose more than a million jobs, according to the research firm Rystad Energy.
Have you or an acquaintance in the oil industry recently lost their job? Reach out at email@example.com.
When the oil crisis will endThe worst may be yet to come. Advertisement
Goldman Sachs predicts that global oil demand will fall by nearly 19 million barrels a day in April.
- For context: Global demand was about 100 million barrels a day last year.
- Fun fact: 1 barrel holds 42 gallons.
- A fact that is even more fun: A barrel maker is called a cooper, which is probably why you have friends with the surname Cooper.
- The head of analysis at Rystad Energy told me he expects the price to bottom out in May.
- One Wall Street analyst said the floor will be about $15 for Brent.
- Other estimates are in the $10-15 range.
- Yes, and …
That means oil producers would literally pay people to take oil off their hands. So if you've got some empty barrels lying around (or you're a Cooper), now is your time to shine (glisten?).
How would this work?
- For some cheaper grades of oil, the price of oil could be less than the cost of storage and transport.
- As demand falls and storage fills up, it could become hard to even give it away.
- So you could see some producers paying people to take their oil.
5 top clean-energy stories this weekCheap oil and the COVID-19 virus are unlikely to thwart the energy transition, experts told me, even though projections for renewable installations have been slashed for 2020. Advertisement
- This week, the research firm Wood Mackenzie cut its forecast for wind installations by nearly 5 gigawatts, or 6.5%.
- It follows similar moves by BloombergNEF, which slashed its solar and wind projections earlier this month.
- Meanwhile, a US solar trade group says coronavirus threatens half of the industry's jobs.
- Preliminary results from a new survey of the group's members found that 40% report staffing reductions.
- That's why the industry wasn't thrilled when Congress left out incentives for clean energy in the $2 trillion aid package.
- Hey, but there's good news, too - for Lightsource BP, anyway. The company, which is backed by the oil giant BP, closed a $250 million deal for a 260-megawatt solar farm in Texas.
- SunPower became the first big solar company to publicly announce that it's slashing executive pay, freezing hiring, and reducing capex in response to COVID-19 market conditions.
That's it! Have a great weekend.
- BenjiGet the latest Oil WTI price here.Advertisement
- Zoom to roll out stronger encryption for paid users
- Amazon removes racist images appeared on AirPods search in UK
- Maruti records 86 pc slump in May sales at 18,539 units
- Telangana covid 19 patients helpline number
- MakeMyTrip fires 350 employees as company looks for ways to sustain during the Covid19 pandemic