1. Oil prices are rising after additional countries agreed to production cuts.
OPEC and other oil producing countries continue to march to production cuts. Over the weekend, 11 oil producers agreed to join the OPEC and reduce production by 558,000 barrels a day. This agreement wasn’t didn’t’ quite hit the 600,000 barrels target they were hoping to reach, but it’s still the first deal that Russia and the other nations have agreed to in 15 years.
Brent crude rose 3.7% to $56.36 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate is up 4% to $53.58 a barrel. Energy stocks are also benefiting from the news, with a general rise across the board.
2. Not official – Sources are reporting President-elect Donald Trump will nominate ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for secretary of state.
Tillerson grew up in Texas, where his father was a modestly compensated administrator for the Boy Scouts of America. Tillerson became an Eagle Scout, and continues to be an active supporter and contributor to the scouting program up to this day. He is an engineering major at the University of Texas, in Austin. He joined ExxonMobil in 1975, and has spent his entire career with ExxonMobil.
Trump met with Tillerson earlier this week, and sources are saying the president-elect was very impressed. No announcement is official, but expected soon.
3. New $1 billion clean energy investment fund created and led by Bill Gates.
Yesterday (Sunday, December 11, 2016) Bill Gates and more than a dozen wealthy investors and individuals announced a new $1 billion investment fund focused on fostering advancements in clean energy production.
The 20-year fund is backed by a mix of technology heavyweights and energy industry tycoons. members include Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer of Amazon.com Inc., Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group Ltd., Jack Ma, the executive chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., John Arnold, a billionaire natural gas trader, and Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, the founder of Kingdom Holding.
The fund will invest in risky, long-term energy technology that could “dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions”. Last year, a number of these investors joined Gates in announcing the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, and this fund marks a more concrete step by this group toward their stated goals of clean energy.