1. OPEC agrees to production cuts.
For the first time in eight years, OPEC has agreed to work together in an attempt to reduce global oil inventories. The deal sent crude oil prices soaring. Benchmark oil prices jumped nearly 10 percent in New York and the share prices of energy companies around the globe shot up along with the currencies of large oil exporters.
The effectiveness of the deal is still TBD. It all depends on how strictly members of OPEC stick to the agreement, something they have struggled with in the past. The deal brings together OPEC’s three largest producers -- Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq – and surprisingly extends beyond OPEC with the inclusion of Russia as well.
2. Dakota Pipeline easement denied.
The Army Corps of Engineers announced Sunday that they would not grant an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline and would instead "explore alternate routes." With this news thousands of protestors that have been gathered at the Standing Rock site over the last couple months celebrated.
Following the Army's announcement, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said, "We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all of Indian Country will be forever grateful to the Obama Administration for this historic decision."
3. Canada approves one pipeline, denies another.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau turned down a proposed Enbridge Inc. pipeline to the West Coast that had become a focus for protesters, while approving the less controversial expansion of a Kinder Morgan Inc. corridor that will boost oil-sands producers’ access to export markets.
The Enbridge’s pipeline would have carried 525,000 barrels a day of crude oil along 730 miles to the port at Kitimat, British Columbia. The project was widely supported by Canadian oil sands producers, whose only significant export market is the U.S., but faced significant opposition from local environmental groups. However, Prime Minister Trudeau approved Kinder Morgan’s proposed expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline, which will nearly triple the capacity of an existing pipeline to 890,000 barrels of crude a day.