1. OPEC news isn’t good enough, and US drillers keep gaining ground.
Oil futures are now at their lowest levels since last November as skepticism continues to run rampant about whether or not OPEC’s cuts can stem the tide of US drilling and a worldwide supply glut. Oil futures are below $50 per barrel and multiple strategists are predicting it may drop as low as $45 before things start to turn around. Meanwhile, U.S. shale producers are continuing to build steam. They are on pace to hit a 10 million barrel day by the end of the year (per Rystad Energy, a Norway-based consulting firm) – a feat the US hasn’t accomplished in nearly half a century.
2. US pulls out of Paris Climate Agreement.
Last week, President Trump withdrew the US from the Paris Climate Agreement stating that the reason was to protect the US from job-killing regulations. On CNN’s “State of the Union”, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said, “What President Obama submitted the US to was not achievable under our standards or any other country’s standards.”
Critics are upset and saying that the US is ceding it’s leadership role in the international community, but supporters of the mover say it was the right thing to do. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said withdrawing from the Paris Agreement was based on sound financial reasoning and is right for the US. He stated, “This is a decision that was right for this country from a jobs perspective, an economy perspective, and an environmental perspective. It was not a political decision.”
3. EPA puts Obama-era methane emissions rule on hold.
The oil and gas industry is getting a short extension of 90 days on Obama-era rule created to reduce methane leaks from new and modified oil and natural gas drilling wells. As part of President Trump’s “evaluate all regulations” initiative, the EPA wants to give the oil and gas industry another chance to comment on the rule. In the meantime, oil and gas companies will not need to comply with certain requirements of the rule while the three-month stay is in effect.