Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict
There is one clear benefit of coronarvirus - however temporary and however fragile: A sense of world peace, even if it’s not real. COVID has officially put the US-Iran conflict on hold. A proxy battle taking place in Iraq is now being pulled back, with Washington refraining from responding further to attacks from Iranian-backed militias at a time when Iran is being crushed with coronavirus. Of the major war or proxy war zones that we have been covering here, Libya remains in its usual state of stalemated civil war, but that’s also because COVID-19 has not yet taken hold in the country.
- Canada’s oil industry has been hit particularly hard by the virus, bringing WCS down to less than $6 per barrel on Thursday before regaining some lost ground to hover at around $13 - still hardly enough for anyone to profit. As one might expect, Canadian oil companies are cutting their capital spend for the year to the tune of billions of dollars. Canadian Natural Resources is cutting its CAPEX by more than C$1 billion, Crescent Point is cutting between C$700 million to $800 million, Enerplus is cutting 40% off its spend or C$325 million, and Husky Energy is cutting C$1 billion, to name a few.
- To assist its oil industry, Canada is thought to be preparing in secret a package to distribute aid to its oil industry. The package could be worth $10 billion and may roll out as early as next week.