Aindriu Colgan | NSWA Vice President, Governmental Affairs
OPEC+ Agree to Cut Production
Last Thursday, a marathon video conference between OPEC and other major energy producers ended with the group tentatively agreeing to a cut of 10 million barrels per day in May and June. Mexico, however, refused to support the agreement, which is conditional on that country’s participation. Focus has now shifted to the G-20, which includes Mexico and which world leaders hope will be more successful in convincing Mexico to join the production cuts.
Regardless of the results of the G-20, many economists believe a cut of 10 million barrels a day to be insufficient, a paltry number compared to estimates about how much global oil demand has collapsed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Senate Fails to Bolster Small Business Loans
Last week, the Senate failed to pass an additional $250 billion for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) Paycheck Protection Program, to which lawmakers had already appropriated $350 billion to provide emergency loans to small businesses. Senate Democrats led by Maryland Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) insisted on including an additional $150 billion for state and local governments and $100 billion for the healthcare sectors. Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Republicans only wanted to provide the PPP with an emergency injection of cash to ensure that the program could continue to make loans. They prefer to discuss other policies, programs, and funding in broader relief legislation down in the future.
DOE’s Methane Emissions Study Delayed
GSI Environmental Inc., which has been tasked by the Department of Energy with conducting the study quantifying methane emissions from marginal wells, has had to postpone its field campaign because of the coronavirus. As you know, the EPA is revising its regulations on methane emissions from the oil and gas sector and directed the Department of Energy to quantify methane emissions from marginal wells. EPA believes the study will help it determine if and how to regulate methane emission from marginal wells.