The oil market received positive news on Thursday as oil futures for Brent and WTI Crude rallied for the first time since the oil price crash in early March, all fueled by the positive news of vaccine approval in Canada and the United Kingdom. Brent Crude hit $50 per barrel, while WTI Crude was trading as high as $47.23 Thursday. Analysts are optimistic that this may be a strong indication that the economy will receive a boost heading into next year.
The oil industry of Venezuela has had a tumultuous year under sanctions from the United States, poor refining network, supply shortages as well as ongoing political and social challenges. The situation has gone from bad to worse for the once dominant member of OPEC. According to two workers at state owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), Venezuelans have begun stealing crude from the idled oilfields and distilling homemade gasoline.
On Thursday, a California appears court upheld a state order that ride sharing companies, Uber and Lyft are required to treat their drivers in California as employees instead of independent contractors. The ruling from the court comes less than two weeks before voters in the state of California will be asked to vote on Proposition 22 on November 3rd. Proposition 22 classifies app-based drivers as independent contractors instead of employees and provides independent contractor drivers other compensation, unless certain criteria are met.
President Trump announced last week that he will be issuing a Presidential Permit for a freight railway project that will run from Alberta, Canada to Alaska, called A2A Railway. The project will cost $22 billion and will transport a variety of commodities such as oil and iron ore, as well as other container goods. The rail line will run close to 1,600 miles (2,570 kilometers) from Anchorage, Alaska through Yukon and Northwest Territories into northern Alberta.
Earlier this month both China and Russia reported that they have developed a Covid-19 vaccine that has been clouded by doubt throughout the world since Phase III testing had not been performed. The vaccines have been developed by CanSino Biologic from China and the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow and are a modification of adenovirus type 5 (AD5). AD5 is currently being used to treat the common cold, and scientists and researchers are now concerned with the effectiveness of the vaccine.