We’re currently in the midst of world Coronavirus pandemic meaning that many countries have had to ‘lock-down’ their residents – especially here in Europe – to stop the spread of the virus. Here in the UK, workers have been told to work from home if possible, and certainly not travel unless necessary & important. As a result of this, many factories and other industries have simply had to close down for the foreseeable future, either following the government advice, to protect their workers or simply because their customers aren’t using their services anymore. However, one of the effects of this huge slow-down in manufacturing and industry has been a massive reduction in pollution.
residents of Punjab in India are able to see the peaks of the Himalayas for the first time in 30 years
For example, on the news today, apparently residents of Punjab in India are able to see the peaks of the Himalayas for the first time in 30 years, after a massive drop in pollution caused by the country’s Coronavirus lock-down (implemented on 22nd March 2020). In China, NASA and European Space Agency pollution monitoring satellites have detected a significant decrease in nitrogen dioxide over China. The evidence points to the economic slowdown following the outbreak of Coronavirus. And here in the UK, some cities have seen levels of nitrogen dioxide plummet by up-to 60% compared to the same period last year due to people simply not using their cars since the country went into ‘lock-down’.
According to the website Offshore Technology, one important impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on the downstream oil industry is that the price of crude oil has fallen significantly in a short time
However, has this also had an effect on oil producers? According to the website Offshore Technology, one important impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on the downstream oil industry is that the price of crude oil has fallen significantly in a short time, taking billions off the stock prices of major oil and gas companies. Demand has dropped, oil workers travel has been restricted, and infections from Coronavirus have been found on some oil rigs. However, what about the long-term effects of this? What happens when this is all over? For example, in recent years, many oil & gas companies have been looking towards more non-traditional methods areas of oil production such as deep-water offshore exploration. On the one hand, these unconventional resources are said to contain at least as much as the total conventional oil reserves extracted since the start of the oil industry, so the potential profits are there. However, on the other hand, developing these new, large-scale sites comes with significant cost associated with R&D and the new technology required for extraction. What happens if demand for oil never goes back to pre-Coronavirus levels? If, for example, many workers simply find they prefer working from home and continue to do this even when they have the choice to commute? This, in conjunction with things like the ongoing development of alternative forms of transport and the large-scale changes to government policies on things such as home heating may mean this is indeed the beginning of the end for the traditional oil industry. Whatever happens it’s going to be an interesting time!