COVID-19: Impacts and Insights from the Energy and Natural Resources Sector
The Payne Institute is hard at work providing actionable insights for decisionmakers on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting and changing energy and natural resources markets and supply chains. This page has links to our recent work on the topic.
SO, YOU WANT TO MAKE BATTERIES BETTER TOO?
Payne Institute Fellow Emily Hersh, Alex Grant, and Chris Berry write a framework for developing lithium-ion battery supply chain industrial strategy. The 2020s will see a boom in demand for lithium, manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries, and electric vehicle deployment on a massive scale as a part of our energy transition away from fossil fuels. Politicians around the world are wondering how their jurisdictions can participate in the lithium ion battery supply chain. Simultaneously, there is concern about the concentration of lithium-ion battery industrial activity in China. June 9, 2020.
PODCAST: A JUST ENERGY TRANSITION IN BOTH THE OLD AND NEW ENERGY SECTORS
Dustin Mulvaney, Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian, Joshua Busby, and host David Spence discuss the clean energy transition in a two-part podcast; Part I: The Transition in Fossil-Fuel Dependent Communities, and Part II: Global Supply Chains and Clean Energy Justice. The energy transition is likely to have dislocative effects on certain sectors. These changes could have consequences for communities and sectors that rely on fossil fuels for employment and taxes. Advocates of a clean transition, for ethical reasons and for political strategic reasons, need to be attendant to their needs. May 30, 2020.
HOW PLUMMETING FUEL PRICES AND REDUCED OPERATIONS COULD FREE UP BILLIONS OF DEFENSE DOLLARS 5/26/2020
HOW PLUMMETING FUEL PRICES AND REDUCED OPERATIONS COULD FREE UP BILLIONS OF DEFENSE DOLLARS
Payne Institute Fellow Michael Baskin writes about how the U.S. Department of Defense is one of the world’s largest consumers of petroleum, yet it relies on an industrial-era system to plan for volatility in global oil markets. Prioritizing stability over efficiency, the system is not designed to respond nimbly to shocks in the oil market like the one happening right now due to COVID-19. May 26, 2020.
ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF THE 2020 OIL MARKET CRASH
Payne Fellow Brad Handler and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the upstream oil and gas industry risks losing more than 200,000 jobs over the next six to 12 months—comparable to the 2015–2016 oil market downturn—and appears poised to shrink over the longer term, as well. This may challenge states and local communities that have significant upstream exposure and suggests they focus on making their economies more resilient. May 21, 2020.
THE CORONAVIRUS REAFFIRMS THE IMPORTANCE OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN MINING
Payne Research Associate Jordy Lee and Morgan Bazilian explain why disruptions from COVID-19 can have larger implications for developing nations that are dependent on the mining industry. Without an overt focus on sustainable development, many counties will continue to suffer from market fluctuations and price volatility. May 13, 2020.
COVID-19 has tested governments around the world – here’s what that means for the energy transition 5/13/2020
COVID-19 HAS TESTED GOVERNMENTS AROUND THE WORLD – HERE’S WHAT THAT MEANS FOR THE ENERGY TRANSITION
Payne Institute Advisory Board member David Victor and Payne Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the world is ensconced in a global public health crisis due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, and the related economic crisis and oil market crash, the path to a low-carbon future has become more uncertain. It is more critical than ever to look at countries’ readiness for the energy transition. May 13, 2020.
FOSTERING EFFECTIVE ENERGY TRANSITION – 2020 EDITION
The Payne Institute contributed to the World Economic Forum Platform for Shaping the Future of Energy and Materials. The annual benchmarking of energy systems across countries has enabled tracking the speed and direction of their energy transition and identifying opportunities for improvement. The transformation of the energy system over the past decade, although slower than required to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change, has been significant. But this hard‑earned momentum now risks being lost, as the ongoing COVID‑19 pandemic continues to cause economic and social damage. May 13, 2020.
NIGHT LIGHTS: Suomi NPP Detects Changes In Nighttime Lights Around NYC…
Payne Institute Dr. Christopher Elvidge and the Earth Observation Group contributed to the article tapping into data from the NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP satellite’s Day/Night Band (DNB), NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) colleagues at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS), and the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) that examined the difference in illumination of urban and suburban lights between February 2020 and March 2020. By doing so, the scientists were able to detect areas of dimming (blue), and in some cases brightening (red), of nighttime lights from the Mid-Atlantic to New England. May 12, 2020.
HOW U.S. SHALE CAN SURVIVE THE OIL CRASH
Payne Institute Fellow Brad Handler and Morgan Bazilian look at the question regarding whether we have reached peak oil demand is a pressing concern for U.S. upstream activity. U.S. tight oil’s current cost structure, which generally requires ~$50/barrel WTI to make it economically viable, suggests that oil demand needs to return to pre-COVID levels for U.S. shale to recover. This article considers the industry’s ability to lower its cost structure further in order for it to maintain competitiveness. May 11, 2020.
DEMAND DOUBTS DAMPEN INVESTOR SENTIMENT
Payne Institute Fellow Brad Handler and Morgan Bazilian write about concerns over the long-term future of oil exercise US investors’ thinking. The European financial community has harboured growing concern over the longer-term prospects for oil demand for a few years. But the collapse in US oil and gas (O&G) share prices is testament to a shift there too, with investors no longer bullish on robust long-term demand—particularly given the increasing prominence of the transition to lower carbon energy. This change in sentiment implies relatively less US oil development activity and threatens to shrink the industry permanently. May 11, 2020.
MINES ENERGY FUTURE PODCAST – WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON WITH OIL AND GAS: INSIGHTS FROM A PETROLEUM ENGINEER 5/8/2020
MINES ENERGY FUTURE PODCAST – WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON WITH OIL AND GAS: INSIGHTS FROM A PETROLEUM ENGINEER
Mines Energy Future podcast featuring Dr. Jennifer L. Miskimins, Interim Department Head and Professor, Petroleum Engineering, Director, Fracturing, Acidizing, Stimulation Technology (FAST), Co-Director, Center for Earth Materials, Mechanics and Characterization at Colorado School of Mines discussing the future of oil and gas in these unpredictable times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. May 8, 2020.
Will COVID-19 and Cheap Oil Green Our Energy Future?
Payne Fellow William Nuttall writes how last month, Shell joined BP in embracing a serious low carbon strategy, this makes environmental sense, but in a world of enduring cheap oil it could also make good long-term business sense. In recent days, we have seen US oil futures dropping to a price of -$35 a barrel! Negative prices have never been seen before. Perhaps, this event will be remembered as the moment that the oil industry finally changed, but the seeds of change have been around for some time. May 2020.
WHY LOW OIL PRICES SPELL TROUBLE FOR COLORADO’S OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY
Our Director, Morgan D. Bazilian, was featured in this recent article in Boulder Weekly on what does the bottoming out of oil prices mean for Colorado’s oil and gas producers and the communities that live near wells? And what for the people who live near operations and are concerned about the long-term environmental impacts? April 30, 2020.
ALL THOSE PARKED 747S HERALD PEAK OIL DEMAND
Payne Fellow Liam Denning writes how jet-fuel demand has declined more in percentage terms than any other petroleum product, according to the International Energy Agency’s initial assessment of the impact of Covid-19, released Thursday. That’s both for the first quarter and, under current estimates, 2020 as a whole. April 30, 2020.
THE DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT, COVID-19 AND CRITICAL MATERIALS
As the Coronavirus continues to demonstrate the fragility of commodity supply-chains, further use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) could allow for the United States to develop its domestic critical mineral sources. Mining and processing locations across the world are being disrupted and highlight the United States’ heavy reliance on imported critical minerals. April 30, 2020.
HERE’S WHAT AN OIL BAILOUT COULD MEAN FOR EMISSIONS
Payne Institute Fellow Alex Gilbert, was featured in this recent article in E&E News. A federal bailout of struggling oil firms is unlikely to alter the trajectory of carbon dioxide emissions, according to analysts, who say market factors dictate the pace of oil production over stimulus programs related to the coronavirus. April 27, 2020.
COVID-19: A WAKE-UP CALL TO INCREASE ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY IN AFRICA
Payne Fellow Jamal Saghir and Adrian Tylim write an commentary on how the world is at a turning point. COVID-19 is putting enormous pressure on each segment of a country’s society and economy. For developing countries that were already facing major social, health and economic challenges before COVID-19, this pressure is particularly excruciating. April 24, 2020.
ENERGY TRANSITION: COAL AS THE CANARY
The Covid-19 pandemic has presented a range of pressing economic challenges including unemployment, lost wages and volatile stock markets. Stalled economic activity has also temporarily reduced energy demand and pollution levels around the world. While the coronavirus creates acute, emergency needs for many households and communities, the kinds of social safety net measures that can cushion the impact in this current crisis have similarities to those needed for longer-term clean energy transitions. Recovery from this pandemic may offer opportunities to recover with a lower-carbon and more equitable economy. April 23, 2020.
WORLD TOUR OF COVID-19 IMPACTS ON NIGHTTIME LIGHTS
The Payne Institute’s Earth Observation Group has been watching the nighttime lights dim, and recently recover, across the world since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a good proxy for both electricity demand and economic activity. The disruption patterns of the Coronavirus shutdowns have been recorded by the NASA / NOAA Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) day /night band (DNB). To examine this is detail, the EOG calculated changes in the brightness between monthly cloud‐free average radiance composites. The results are detailed in this paper. April 21, 2020.
OIL PRICES ARE NEGATIVE: WHAT DOES IT MEAN AND WHAT COMES NEXT
Payne Fellow Alex Gilbert writes that for the first time in history, the primary U.S. oil contract closed at a negative price, an astonishing -$37.63/barrel. This shocking price is a result of the collapse in oil demand due to response measures to the coronavirus pandemic in both the United States and globally. This specific time, negative prices were driven by an unusual circumstance due to an expiring futures contract. However, unless the oil demand situation changes quickly, the U.S. could face single digit or even negative oil prices throughout the summer. April 21, 2020.
THE EFFECTS OF CORONAVIRUS MEASURES ON ELECTRICITY MARKETS
Payne Fellow Alex Gilbert writes about how global economic activity has rapidly ground to a halt, energy markets have witnessed a rapid, unprecedented drop in demand. While economic impacts on electricity markets and investment so far have been limited compared to oil and gas markets, substantial short-term uncertainty could complicate long-term investment decisions. Nevertheless, the operational and demand effects are wide-ranging. April 20, 2020.
WHAT COULD A “JUST TRANSITION” LOOK LIKE FOR FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENT REGIONS?
Payne Institute Fellow Hisham Zerriffi, and collaborators write about how climate action presents special challenges for communities, and countries, that produce fossil fuels consumed elsewhere. As an exporter of relatively emissions-intensive and high-cost oil, Canada is especially vulnerable to price declines that will result from climate action. The challenge of climate change mitigation for fossil fuel producing regions has been brought to the fore by the COVID-19 crisis, which has depressed global demand and driven already-low global oil prices still lower. Although economic recovery will follow, the prospect of delayed recovery and national economic stimulus packages tied to clean energy transition may hasten a moment of reckoning. In that context, it is especially timely to consider the call for “just transition” plans, which seek to ensure fossil fuel-dependent communities and workers are not left behind. April 17, 2020.
SUSCEPTIBILITIES OF SOLAR ENERGY SUPPLY CHAINS
Payne student Anna Evans explains why the novel coronavirus outbreak in China disrupted the global solar panel supply chain, and how the virus’ increasing impacts will affect supply and demand. Without thoughtful policy design and implementation at the sub-national, national, and international level, these disruptions could continue to plague the solar industry. April 16, 2020.
CBC NEWS POLL: WHY THE ECONOMIC CRISIS COULD SPEED UP TRANSITION TO RENEWABLE ENERGY
Our Director, Morgan D. Bazilian, was featured in this recent article in CABC on the energy transition and its impacts in Alberta. A CBC News poll, taken just before the economic implications of the coronavirus were becoming clear, suggests 79 per cent of Albertans already thought that the province should transition toward renewable energy. More than nine in 10 Albertans also think the province should do more to encourage the development of the technology sector. And 51 per cent think that the province should transition away from oil and gas. April 16, 2020.
CARBON CAPTURE, UTILIZATION, AND STORAGE UNDER THE PARIS AGREEMENT
Payne Fellow Kipp Coddington writes that almost every international climate change scenario under the 2015 Paris Agreement shows the need for an enormous ramp-up of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies to meet global goals. Timing matters, not just scale. CCUS technology must be deployed at scale sooner rather than later if the agreement’s objective of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels is to be achieved. Additionally, CCUS uniquely holds promise as a “negative” emissions technology — removing carbon dioxide from the air. April 15, 2020.
A SHORT HISTORY OF ENERGY DISRUPTIONS AND RECOVERY
Payne Fellow Paul Deane writes about how modern economies need significant amounts of energy to function with overall energy demand driven by economic activity, population, and technology. Because of the link between economic activity and energy, a shock in one system will reverberate in the other leaving fingerprints of the disruption in both historic data sets.The COVID19 impact on our energy system situation is different as it is predominantly demand-side in nature as a consequence of people using less energy for transport/flying etc but the remedial action required is dependent on a mixture of policy interventions, public confidence and likely technology and medical development. April 15, 2020.
PODCAST: THE MINERALS MANHATTAN PROJECT
Payne Fellow Emily Hersch has started a new podcast titled The Minerals Manhattan Project. Morgan Bazilian contributed to the conversation with a discussion about the Mineral Foundations of the Energy Future. They get into topics such as what lessons oil and gas has for minerals and mining in the United States, and an understanding of how power and spheres of influence determine countries’ approaches to energy security. Since China isn’t an oil and gas producing nation, their approach to dominating those supply chains is different than for minerals and mining. April 13, 2020.
POST COVID-19 NEW WORLD CONFIGURATION AND CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIONS: TWO URGENT PRIORITIES April 10, 2020
POST COVID-19 NEW WORLD CONFIGURATION AND CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIONS: TWO URGENT PRIORITIES
In few weeks or months, the world will have to reconvene to forge a new chapter in humanity, I would call it the Post COVID-19 New World Configuration. It will be an historic moment: the ultimate test of global survival, globalization, and cooperation. Yet the building blocks toward this new World are proceeding so slowly that humanity is in grave danger. If we miss the opportunity to protect ourselves and our planet, there will be no second chance; no way to go back and undo the catastrophic health, economic and social damage of COVID-19. April 10, 2020.
POST COVID-19 NEW WORLD CONFIGURATION AND CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIONS: TWO URGENT PRIORITIES April 10, 2020
SAUDI ARABIA’S WORLD IS COMING UNDONE
Payne Fellow Liam Denning, Bloomberg Opinion, writes how bulls are banking on the kingdom this week, but its future role could be far more disruptive. Saudi Arabia is having a regular week: Facing off against Russia, taking phone calls from the U.S. president and supposedly cobbling together a plan to save the (oil) world. On Thursday, it will preside over an emergency meeting of OPEC+; the next day, a virtual gathering of G20 energy ministers. As opportunities to strut the global stage go, this one comes at a big cost: Like most oil exporters, the country faces a cataclysmic drop in demand. But this isn’t just about the money. April 8, 2020.
COVID-19 – THE GLOBAL SOUTH MUST NOT BE FORGOTTEN
While the media focuses on countries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic — China, United States, Italy and South Korea — relatively less news emerges from the bulk of the world’s population living in developing countries. The United Nations is doing its best to highlight the grim prospects of those 70 million people who are displaced and now live in refugee camps or urban slums. April 5, 2020.
THE KURDISTAN REGION OF IRAQ TOUGHENS UP ON OIL SMUGGLING
Payne Fellow Peri-Khan Aqrawi-Whitcomb comments on how the COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc without regard to geographic boundaries, attacking almost every sphere of our public and private lives, and unveiling some of the world’s major shortcomings. Those shortcomings include institutional capacity and good governance. As a result, there is a rapid global spread of the virus due to, inter alia, a lack of adequate coordination, transparency, cooperation, preparedness, and inadequate mitigation policies—all exacerbated by economic greed and short-sightedness. This Comment considers the analogies between global diseases and illicit trade (with a focus on oil in Iraqi Kurdistan). Both have penetrated the world in a way that no region is immune, and the best cure is good governance and cooperation on a global and local scale. April 2, 2020.
MINING THE ENERGY TRANSITION
Jordy Lee and Morgan Bazilian explain why supply chain disruptions from COVID-19 are indicative of larger problems withing the mining industry. Without holding mining Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reports to a higher standard, the developmental changes and supply chain transparency required for a low-carbon future are unnecessarily constrained. April 2, 2020.
THE UNITED STATES MINERAL SUPPLY INSECURITY AND DEPENDENCE ON RARE EARTH ELEMENTS
Despite the trade war with China and the outbreak of the Coronavirus, the United States of America (U.S) faces the continuous problem of resource dependence and resource insecurity of its processed Rare Earth mineral supply chain. The latter problem arises for three reasons: First, is the import reliance on Chinese processed Rare Earth supply to the United States. Second, is the negligence of the U.S in developing its own mining sector. Third, is the disconnect between mineral strategy and policy. The aim of this brief to shed an understanding on the current U.S capacity to refine Rare Earths, and to provide recommendations to achieve a sustainable industry. April 1, 2020.
THE SHRINKING PATH FORWARD FOR U.S. OILFIELD SERVICES
The recent oil price collapse is setting the stage for yet another steep decline in revenue and profit for the U.S. Oilfield Services (OFS) sector. As challenging as it will be for U.S. OFS companies to weather this storm, it represents just another blow to a sector already beleaguered by its and its customers’ inability to deliver adequate financial returns and longer-term demand uncertainty given climate change (decarbonization) concerns. All of these threaten to shrink and transform OFS in the years to come. March 31, 2020.
COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
Payne Institute Fellow Jamal Saghir writes a timely commentary. When some experts described the COVID-19 pandemic as the most dangerous global challenge since World War II, potentially overshadowing the 2008-2009 financial crisis- they were correct. Although disasters diverge in their causes and scope of impact, they are connected by the necessity for coordinated international, regional, national, and local responses. The world is on the verge of major economic recession and the impact on every country, rich or poor, will be tremendous unless early actions are implemented quickly. March 30, 2020.
THE OIL PRICE COLLAPSE COULD RESHAPE GLOBAL NATURAL GAS MARKETS
The inability of Russia and Saudi Arabia to agree on production quotas for countries that are not part of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (referred to as OPEC+ countries), and the subsequent price collapse in oil markets, promises to reshape global energy markets. The timing is not good. The demand shock from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic (commonly known as COVID-19) has led the International Energy Agency to estimate that 2020 will see the first contraction in oil demand since the Great Recession. The causes and consequences of the oil price drop have been well discussed. However, the impact on other energy markets, particularly global liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets, is relatively under covered and more nuanced. March 27, 2020.
THESE IMAGES SHOW THE IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS ON ELECTRICITY DEMAND IN CHINESE CITIES
The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and the disease it causes (COVID-19) have caused significant disruptions to markets around the world since the virus was first identified in Wuhan City in China in late 2019. In the energy sector, the impact has been most apparent in the dramatic fall in oil demand in China. The Payne Institute’s Earth Observation Group is using satellite images to view the decrease in electricity usage in key Chinese cities due to COVID-19. March 25, 2020.
HOW TO MAKE THE ECONOMIC STIMULUS GREAT
The current COVID-19 pandemic has both public health and economic dimensions and the two are deeply interconnected. Some consensus on various key policy stages are emerging from initial lock-downs, from ensuring massive testing and mobilization of manufacturing for items like ventilators and personal protection equipment, to emergency stabilization, and economic stimulus. March 24, 2020.
COVID-19 IS A REMINDER THAT INTERCONNECTIVITY IS UNAVOIDABLE
The spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been a disaster for the economy, shown weaknesses in public health systems, and killed several thousand people worldwide. It has also made clear how interconnected the modern world has become. Walls are futile for preventing the rapid movement of the virus around the globe. March 12, 2020.
OIL PRICE COLLAPSE COULD CUT DEEPLY INTO WELD COUNTY JOBS, TAX REVENUE
As Occidental Petroleum, county’s largest oil producer, loses half its stock price Monday; a series of oil announcements halfway around the world has cratered global oil prices, and they could reverberate through Weld County’s economy and tax coffers over the next several years. March 9, 2020.
Presentation on the IEA’s Special Report on Sustainable Recovery
Payne Institute welcomes Laszlo Varro, Chief Economist, International Energy Agency, for a webinar presenting the IEA’s Special Report on Sustainable Recovery. No registration necessary: see flyer for details and links. July 21, 2020.
Building Back Better by Fueling Innovation in the Energy Sector
Payne Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon will present during a webinar titled Building Back Better by Fueling Innovation in the Energy Sector. Please follow this link to register. May 27, 2020.
VIRTUAL CONFERENCE: XXIX LA JOLLA ENERGY VIRTUAL CONFERENCE
The Payne Institute is partnering with the Institute of Americas for the XXIX La Jolla Energy Virtual Conference. There is much to discuss this year with the implications of the Coronavirus but also the massive shock to the global oil market and its impact across the hemisphere. What do these issues mean for Latin America? What are the policies governments should be considering for the “day after?” What does it signify for the energy transition? We will mix analysis and discussion of these critical cross-cutting themes together with our usual country-focused panels. May 18-22, 2020.
WEBINAR: COVID-19: IMPACTS ON ENERGY AND CLIMATE
The Payne Institute welcomes Advisory Board member Dr. David Victor, Professor of Industrial Organization and Innovation, School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego, presenting a webinar titled COVID-19: Impacts on Energy and Climate. No registration necessary: see flyer for details and links. May 12, 2020.
Morgan Bazilian will present on Satellite Analysis of Electricity Demand Loss in Selected Chinese Cities for the EUCI online seminar Pandemic Response – COVID-19 for Utilities. Please follow this link to register. April 9, 2020.
Payne Institute welcomes Fellow Eirik Wærness, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Equinor, presenting a webinar titled COVID-19, Lockdown and Market Turmoil – Implications for Energy Markets. No registration necessary: see flyer for details and link. April 29, 2020.
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