Oil jumps 12% to $33 as June futures contract nears expiration
Oil & Gas 360, May 18, 2020
West Texas Intermediate for June delivery jumped more than 12% on Monday to a two-month high, one day ahead of the contract’s expiration, as production cuts and the easing of stay-at-home restrictions supported prices. “Producers are significantly throttling back output and, with demand increasing, the market is on a slow path towards recovery,” said Rystad Energy’s senior oil markets analyst Paola Rodriguez Masiu. “Faced with meager demand and unattractive low prices, production curtailments came faster and deeper than initially anticipated.” WTI, the U.S. benchmark, surged 11.6%, or $3.43, to trade at $32.86 per barrel. International benchmark Brent crude, which has already rolled to the July contract, traded 7.5% higher at $34.93 per barrel. Monday’s jump is in sharp contrast to just one month ago when, on the day before the contract for May delivery expired, prices plunged below zero and into negative territory for the first time in history. With much of the world still on lockdown and storage rapidly filling, people were worried that there would be nowhere to put the oil. The contract holders were left scrambling and ultimately would do anything — in this case, even pay to have it taken off their hands.
COVID guidance for Alaska placer miners
Shane Lasley, North of 60 Mining News, May 18, 2020
Alaska Department of Natural Resources has finalized COVID-19 guidance for placer gold miners planning to carry out operations on their claims in the state during 2020 field season. Placer and lode mining are both considered “critical infrastructure” under Alaska’s essential services and critical workforce infrastructure order, which means that miners are considered essential workers in the state.
Zinke says Biden’s plan to ban fossil fuel drilling on federal lands is ‘nuts’
Abby Smith, The Washington Examiner, May 18, 2020
Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, would threaten U.S. energy security with his proposal to end fossil fuel drilling on federal lands, former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said. “It’s nuts,” he said of Biden’s pledge to ban drilling on public lands. The Obama administration had placed a moratorium on coal mining on federal lands in 2016, a policy Zinke quickly reversed in one of his first acts as interior secretary. Biden’s climate plan would go further, banning new oil and gas drilling on federal lands and waters. Energy analysts say the policy likely wouldn’t significantly decrease greenhouse gas emissions, because most drilling occurs on private land. But environmentalists say the move would be significant, both to address emissions from public lands and to send a signal a Biden administration is serious about addressing climate change.