The relationship between big oil and big corn has been tenuous at best for years, but with historic declines in fuel consumption due to COVID-19, the fight has reignited in a major way. Oil refiners and their allies from the Gulf Coast and Pennsylvania are in a serious policy battle with ethanol producers, corn farmers and Midwest politicians. At the heart of the disagreement is that the oil refining industry is seeking waivers from biofuel blending requirements resulting from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
The first quarter of 2020 has absolutely rocked global oil markets due to COVID-19, an OPEC+ supply and price dispute as well as a global economic recession. What happens next is still unknown, but with global storage on the brink of filling up and demand destruction nearing 20 million bpd, the global oil industry will almost certainly change forever. IOCs (International Oil Companies) and smaller independents face particularly daunting challenges, while NOCs (National Oil Companies) look to capture more market share while putting their competition out of business.
In a time where there seems to be an endless onslaught of negative news feeds, it’s important to take a step back and recognize the good deeds that communities are doing for each other. Neighborhoods across the country are stepping up to the plate and doing their part to keep everyone afloat. Service industry workers are among the hardest hit by mandatory shutdowns, but new projects like Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) “Pittsburgh Virtual Tip Jar” are working hard to alleviate some of the financial stress.
On the morning of Monday, January 6, 2020, WTI crude oil was nearing $64/bbl. As of 10:31 a.m. EST on Thursday, February 27, 2020, WTI crude oil was trading at $46.36/bbl. The shocking effects of the coronavirus fear continue to decimate global markets, particularly oil markets. Fortune.com aptly points out that the coronavirus has done to the oil industry what the U.S. and China trade war, strikes on Saudi oilfields, Libyan supply outages, and a near war between the U.S. and Iran-could not. The virus has thrown traders and analysts into complete turmoil.