A coronavirus-led demand shock has seen oil prices collapse in 2020, with strict public health measures coinciding with curtailed travel and economic activity.An easing of lockdown measures in the third quarter helped global oil demand to improve, but OPEC now fears a surge in the number of reported Covid-19 cases could derail an expected recovery.“As new COVID-19 infection cases continued to rise during October in the US and Europe, forcing governments to re-introduce a number of restrictive measures, various fuels including transportation fuel are thought to bear the brunt going forward,” OPEC said. LONDON — OPEC on Wednesday trimmed its global oil demand forecasts for the remainder of this year and 2021, citing a weaker-than-expected economic outlook and a surge in coronavirus cases.In a closely watched report, the group of oil-producing nations said it now expects world oil demand to contract by around 9.8 million barrels per day year over year in 2020. That reflects a downward revision of 0.3 million barrels from last month’s assessment.For next year, OPEC said oil demand growth will rise by 6.2 million on an annual basis, representing a downward revision of another 0.3 million barrels from its October report. The group has steadily lowered its oil demand outlook for 2021 from an initial expectation of 7 million in July.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – International benchmark Brent crude futures traded at $44.84 a barrel on Wednesday afternoon, up around 2.8%, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures stood at $42.52, also 2.8% higher.Both oil contracts were on pace to record their third consecutive positive trading session after hopes of an effective coronavirus vaccine continued to bolster market sentiment.Pfizer and BioNTech said Monday that early results showed their vaccine candidate was more than 90% effective in preventing Covid infections. It is hoped a safe and effective vaccine could help bring an end to the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed over 1.27 million lives.Huge challenges remain before a Covid-19 vaccine can be rolled out, but energy markets have cheered the news.Looking further ahead, OPEC warned “risks remain” with regard to oil demand.“Ongoing developments in the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to dominate a recovery amid the latest news relating to a potential imminent vaccine,” the group said.“The structural impact of the pandemic on various sectors, especially the transportation sector, will linger well into 2021.” – Advertisement – Paul Putnam, 53, a rancher and independent contract pumper walks past a pump jack in Loving County, Texas, November 25, 2019.Angus Mordant | Reuters “These downward revisions mainly take into account downward adjustments to the economic outlook in OECD economies due to COVID-19 containment measures, with the accompanying adverse impacts on transportation and industrial fuel demand through mid-2021,” OPEC said in the report.The report comes ahead of the group’s Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 meeting with non-OPEC allies to discuss the next phase of oil production policy.The energy alliance, a grouping known collectively as OPEC+, had agreed to a record supply cut of 9.7 million bpd starting on May 1. The cut was subsequently scaled back to 7.7 million in August and OPEC+ has said it plans further tapering next year.‘Risks remain’- Advertisement – Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries – OPEC logo is seen on the organisations’ headquarters in Vienna, Austria.Jakub Porzycki | NurPhoto | Getty Images
Two Chinese nationals have been indicted for seeking to steal COVID-19 vaccine research and hacking hundreds of companies in the United States and abroad, including defense contractors, the US Justice Department said Tuesday.Li Xiaoyu, 34, and Dong Jiazhi, 33, also targeted human rights activists in the United States, China and Hong Kong, Assistant Attorney General John Demers said.The indictment comes amid rising tensions between the global superpowers fueled by the coronavirus pandemic which President Donald Trump blames on China. Dissidents targeted The Justice Department said they also targeted “non-governmental organizations, and individual dissidents, clergy, and democratic and human rights activists in the United States and abroad, including Hong Kong and China.”According to the indictment, Li and Dong supplied the Ministry of State Security with passwords for personal email accounts belonging to Chinese dissidents, a Hong Kong community organizer, the pastor of a Christian church in Xian and a former Tiananmen Square protestor.Among the material allegedly stolen were emails between a dissident and the Dalai Lama’s office.The pair were accused of stealing source code from software companies, information about drugs under development from pharmaceutical firms and weapons designs and testing data from defense contractors.Targeted foreign companies were not identified by name.But according to the indictment they included a Dutch electronics firm, a Swedish gaming company, a Lithuanian gaming company, a German software engineering firm, a Belgian engineering software company, an Australian defense contractor, a South Korean shipbuilding firm, a Spanish electronics and defense firm and a British artificial intelligence and cancer research company.Li and Dong allegedly stole information from defense contractors regarding military satellite programs, military wireless networks and communications systems and microwave and laser systems.The indictment was returned by a grand jury in the Eastern District of Washington state on July 7 but was only unsealed on Tuesday.Li and Dong were charged with conspiracy to commit computer fraud, conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets, wire fraud, unauthorized access of a computer and identity theft.China accused the United States last month of smearing Beijing following allegations that Chinese hackers were attempting to steal coronavirus research.The claims exacerbated tensions between the two countries, which have traded barbs over the origin of the pandemic that has killed more than 600,000 people since it emerged in China late last year.”China expresses strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to such smearing,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said.”Judging from past records, the US has carried out the largest cybertheft operations worldwide,” Zhao said.Topics : “Targeted industries included, among others, high tech manufacturing; medical device, civil, and industrial engineering; business, educational, and gaming software; solar energy; pharmaceuticals; defense,” it said.”More recently, the defendants probed for vulnerabilities in computer networks of companies developing COVID-19 vaccines, testing technology, and treatments,” it said.Justice Department officials said that Li and Dong targeted biotech companies in California, Maryland, Massachusetts and elsewhere but did not appear to have actually compromised any COVID-19 research. Li and Dong, who are believed to be in China, acted in some instances “for their own personal gain” and in others for the benefit of China’s Ministry of State Security, Demers said at a news conference.”China has now taken its place, alongside Russia, Iran, and North Korea, in that shameful club of nations that provide a safe haven for cyber criminals,” Demers said.The Justice Department said Li and Dong, who were classmates at an electrical engineering college in Chengdu, have been engaged in a computer hacking campaign for the past 10 years.They have targeted companies in the United States, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, and Britain, it said.
After 8 years of activity, France Energies Marines, now the Institute for Energy Transition approved by the French State, has redesigned its visual identity.This overhaul aims to mark the new dynamic of the structure whose achievements are now carried by a simplified joint stock company.The new logo displays a simple, uncluttered and modern style, while making clear reference to the marine dimension which is at the heart of the Institute’s activities. The orange and blue colours have been retained as they symbolise energy, the sea and the wind, France Energies Marines explains.The movement of the stylised wave reflects the dynamism of the 45 employees of France Energies Marines as well as the support of its members and partners to always move forward and bring recognised know-how on cutting-edge subjects. The typography used is resolutely contemporary, as is the booming offshore renewable energy sector.
GitLab wants developers to have an easier way to manage and visualize project issues across teams in an organization. Today it released Issue Board, which aims to give developers insight into the development process from start to finish.Issue Board gives software development teams real-time visibility into all project issues across their organization. It’s an open-source task-management tool that is part of GitLab and available to teams with both free and enterprise versions of GitLab’s code collaboration platform, the company announced.(Related: GitLab introduces integrated Docker container registry)According to CEO of GitLab Sid Sijbrandij, GitLab already has the ability to create issues, but there was no way to work with the issues in a collaborative process. With Issue Board, developers have a better visual representation of their issues and the drag-and-drop style makes it more convenient to plan, see what’s in progress, or learn what is backed up and needs attention.As development teams become more specialized, the collaboration between teams needs to dramatically increase, according to Sijbrandij. He said nowadays, there could be a back-end developer, a front-end developer, a security engineer, a testing team, and an Android or iOS developer who all are working together on one project, so it’s important for teams to be able to see what state an issue is in, he said. “We want to make sure that you can go as fast as possible from idea to production, and bringing that time down so you can stand on the shoulders of your previous work and have a better grasp of what you have to make next,” said Sijbrandij.Some key features in Issue Board include lists or columns that represent each step in the development process. The lists themselves are aligned with labels that developers create from existing issues. For example, if a developer labels things with “Backend” or “Frontend,” the corresponding issues will appear in the lists as they are created.Also, each Issue Board starts with two lists: Backlog and Done. Teams can create unlimited lists. When moving between lists, the label on the issue is automatically updated, and the new issue will be displayed in the issue tracker. This means team members will still have a record of what is happening with one issue even if they aren’t checking Issue Board.Another important addition with this month’s release is the coding integration feature. After a developer plans an issue, the next thing they should do is begin working on it. With GitLab, said Sijbrandij, developers can begin by clicking one button that will allow their whole development environment to be installed, so they can get working on the issue right away instead of waiting a day installing all the dependencies on their local machine.Issue Board also allows teams to see the entire flow of their processes from the moment something is discussed for the first time until it is deployed.“We think that will help teams coordinate more easily and spend more time on writing software than writing all kinds of integrations to make their tools work together,” said Sijbrandij.