COVID Market Update
- The price of the OPEC basket has climbed above $40 per barrel for the first time in four months, as the group managed to fulfill 100% of its promised cuts last month. The basket price comes as the official selling prices were raised for Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, kicked in on July 1.
- At the same time, Russia says OPEC cuts will likely ease off in August, and that by July we could even be looking at a deficit, despite the fact that consumption may not recover before the end of 2021.
- Royal Dutch Shell is the latest oil company to take a major write-down, this time for $22 billion as the oil giant lowered its energy price forecasts in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The writedown includes $9 billion for its integrated gas operations, $6 billion for its oil and gas production assets, and $7 billion for its refining operations.
- Exxon, however, is a writedown holdout, hoping for improved valuations of its assets after the pandemic is over. Exxon’s refusal to writedown its assets has irked some, who are suing it for fraudulent accounting methods after a long history of holding off on writedowns, unlike the majority of its industry peers.
- Tesla has now overtaken Exxon in terms of market cap in what some view as a sign that EVs are gaining in prevalence while the oil and gas industry slips. Tesla’s valuation is now over $200 billion, while Exxon’s is $185 billion.