This Week’s Market Buzz

• Oil prices jumped 3% at press time, recovering from a seven-day losing streak, with gains driven by a weaker dollar despite demand concerns stoked by rising cases of the Delta coronavirus variant. Brent crude climbed $2.59, or 3.9%, to $67.75 a barrel after touching its lowest since May 21 at $64.60. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for October delivery rose $2.58, or 4.2%, to $64.75.

• The Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) has issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Uinta Basin Railway in Utah. The move paves the way for STB to make a final decision on the line, and follows a public comment period on the Draft EIS, which ran until Feb. 12, 2021. The state of Utah’s Seven County Infrastructure Coalition is seeking STB authority to construct and operate the line.

• The Permian Basin has grown over the past decade to produce more oil than Iraq. But it has struggled to cope with some of the effects of its expansion over the past decade: roads crumbling from a heavy volume of 18-wheelers, a lack of doctors, skyrocketing house prices and rents, and a lack of qualified workers. A coalition of energy companies, along with state and local partners, plans to spend $844 million on roads, education, workforce development, housing, broadband and health care in the region, according to the Permian Strategic Partnership, which assembled the group. The Texas Department of Transportation is providing the most of the funds, while companies including Chevron Corp. and Halliburton Co. are also kicking in.

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