As President Trump’s term comes to an end, the administration continues to tighten restrictions on Chinese companies as the U.S. Department of Commerce blacklisted CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Corporation) on Thursday. CNOOC was blacklisted for helping China intimidate neighbors in the South China Sea which threatened U.S. national security. The Department of Commerce stated, “CNOOC has repeatedly harassed and threatened offshore oil and gas exploration and extraction in the South China Sea, with the goal of driving up the political risk for interested foreign partners, including Vietnam.” The Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross also said, “CNOOC acts as a bully for the People’s Liberation Army to intimidate China’s neighbors, and the Chinese military continues to benefit from government civil-military fusion policies for malign purposes”. The South China Sea has been a lasting point of contention due to the oil contained in that area.
For the 2021 calendar year, there will be 5.8 million barrels per day crude production cuts. These cuts are an effort to balance the current oversupply due to COVID-19 with an estimated demand forecast for the year.
As the votes roll in for the presidential election, another important vote took place yesterday. In California, residents voted on Prop 22. According to Business Insider, “Proposition 22 is a November ballot measure that aims to exempt ride-sharing and food-delivery firms from AB5, a California gig worker law that forces Uber and Lyft to classify their drivers as employees.” After an enormous effort by “Gig Firms” to prevent AB5 from impacting their workforce the votes are in. According to Transportation Topics, “Uber, Lyft and other app-based ride-hailing and delivery services spent $200 million in a winning bet to circumvent California lawmakers and the courts to preserve their business model by keeping drivers from becoming employees eligible for benefits and job protections. The titans of the so-called gig economy bankrolled the most expensive ballot measure in state history, which was decided Nov. 3 with 58% of more than 11 million voters choosing to keep drivers classified as independent contractors able to set their own hours.” This landmark decision has enabled these companies to remain in California without having to re-label their drivers as employees.
The oil complex is trading much higher this morning due to a flurry of bullish headlines: increased chances of a federal stimulus package, weaker dollar, oil strikes in Norway, and the development of Tropical Storm Delta.
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.