Offshore Technology lists the top five terms tweeted on oil and gas supply in November 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform. The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

1. Oil – 844 mentions

Nigeria’s plan to pass oil reform bill, decline in China’s crude oil imports and oil refiner to reduce its refinery capacity due to pandemic were some popular topics discussed in November. According to an article shared by Giovanni Staunovo, a commodity analyst, the Nigerian parliament is planning to pass an oil reform bill within the next 180 days, which is expected to lay the foundation for revamping the country’s oil and gas sector laws.

The reforms were in the making for the last 20 years and the bill, once passed, will update the country’s exploration laws for the first time in more than five decades. The laws will pave the way for attracting investment into Nigeria, which is the need of the hour considering the current scenario of oil slump and renewable energy transition, the article highlighted.

Further, Clyde Russell, Asia Commodities columnist at Reuters, shared an article about China’s imports of crude oil declining by 12.2% in October, as the country’s imports stood at 42.56Mt during the month. The Asian giant’s imports had peaked during the May-September period, thanks to huge volume of oil purchased from refiners as Russia and Saudi Arabia were engaged in a price war in April. Approximately 2.5Mt of additional crude equivalent to 588,000bpd bought during the price war was unloaded on China’s coast in October, the article noted.

Other discussions surrounding oil included UK-based refiner Petroineos planning to decrease the capacity of its 200,000bpd refinery at Grangemouth in Scotland by 50%. The refinery joins several other refineries, where operations have been cut down due to the Covid-19 induced oil demand slump. The company is planning to close its 65,000bpd crude distillation unit (CDU) 1 and 25,000bpd fluidised catalytic cracker unit, which produce gasoline. The proposal is expected to affect 200 workers employed at the refinery, the article highlighted.

2. OPEC – 149 mentions

OPEC+ to extend oil production cuts into 2021, oil prices rising on the back of deferment of output increase and OPEC+ to meet and decide production expansion plans were some widely discussed topics last month. Alex Lawler, an energy correspondent at Reuters, shared an article about OPEC+, comprising OPEC and its partners including Russia, considering postponement of its plan to increase oil output. The group is planning to delay its output expansion strategy in light of the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic. OPEC was scheduled to raise production by two million bpd in January 2021, to offset the record production cuts witnessed during the pandemic, the article highlighted.

Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity research at BNP Paribas, an international bank, further shared an article about oil futures rising following the news of potential delay in easing of oil output cuts by OPEC+. The US benchmark crude futures rose by 2.9%, recovering from a sudden fall to a five-month low earlier in the session. The resurgence of coronavirus cases globally could slump oil demand by 88 to 89 million bpd, a 11% to 12% decline compared with 2019, the article noted.

OPEC also trended in discussions shared by Ellen R. Wald, an energy columnist at Los Angeles Times, about OPEC’s meeting scheduled to be held in the last week of November for taking a call on the previously agreed plans to increase oil production from January 2021. The group is indecisive on increasing production as the global oil demand continues to remain low due to the ongoing pandemic. The OPEC+ panel is planning to hold informal discussions online ahead of the actual meeting.

3. Covid-19 – 46 mentions

Coronavirus vaccine expected to serve as a stimulus for oil consumption, impact of pandemic on the value of oil fields in the US and one-fourth of Australia’s oil and gas jobs being impacted by Covid-19 were some popular topics discussed in November 2020. According to an article shared by John Kemp, an energy analyst, the Covid-19 vaccine could give a boost to global transportation and oil demand, but the actual effects of vaccine will be felt only in the latter stages of 2021. Governments, however, remain committed to implementing social-distancing and travel restrictions to curb the virus spread to the maximum extent until widespread administration of Covid-19 vaccine, the article highlighted.

Further, Anas Alhajji, an energy market expert, shared an article about value of oil and gas lands in West Texas plunging due to Covid-19 pandemic. The value is not expected to bounce back in the near future as the rise in coronavirus cases across US is continuing to ravage crude oil demand. The US shale acreage price slumped by more than 70% in the last two years from $17,000 in 2018 to $5000 per acre this year. However, some shale companies managed to maintain their prices, with the Permian-Delaware basin continuing to be valued at $3000 an acre, while the value of Midland basin stood at $17,000 per acre, the article noted.

Another discussion related to Covid-19 was shared by Brad Keithley, an oil and gas industry veteran, about coronavirus pandemic adversely affecting the already beleaguered oil and gas industry in Australia. More than 28,000 jobs equal to a quarter of the country’s oil and gas workforce have been lost. Some of the retrenched workers are expected to be reinstated starting next year, but it will take a minimum of five years for the sector to recover to pre-pandemic levels. Australia’s oil and gas workforce diminished by 24% last year, even before the Covid-19 outbreak, partly due to decline in spending by operators across the country, the article highlighted.

4. Policies – 40 mentions

The impact of Joe Biden’s energy policies on the US oil and gas industry and OPEC+ deferring policy recommendations were some widely discussed topics in the previous month. Nader Itayim, OPEC correspondent for Argus Media, shared an article about the policy changes that US president-elect Joe Biden could bring to the oil and gas sector. Biden is keen on weaning off the country’s dependence on oil and transitioning towards renewable energy. The US aims to accomplish the climate goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in alignment with the Paris agreement, the article highlighted.

Policies was also discussed in an article shared by Ben Winkley, an oil and gas reporter at Argus Media, about the volatility of oil market restricting OPEC+ from deciding on oil cuts extension policy beyond 2020. The Saudi Arabian oil minister said that the group is unable to take a decision on increasing oil production as the global market is in a constant state of flux. The ongoing pandemic continues to cast its shadow over the oil market disrupting demand and leading to a deferral of OPEC+ policy decision, the article highlighted.

5. Pricing – 39 mentions

Oil price slump expected to continue into 2021 and Saudi Aramco committed to paying dividend despite crude price decline were some popular topics discussed in the month of November. According to an article shared by Harry Tchilinguirian, the global oil price plunge in the wake of coronavirus pandemic is expected to continue into next year. The West Texas Intermedia futures are expected to reach $43.25 per barrel in Q1 2021. The oil prices and demand is projected to remain low as the second wave of Covid-19 across Europe and US could compel governments to reimpose restrictions on travel and business activity, the article highlighted.

Other discussions surrounding pricing was shared by Patricia Schouker, an energy and security analyst, about Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company, standing by its commitment on payment of quarterly dividend, notwithstanding a fall in profits due to reduced crude prices. The company will pay $18.75bn it promised to its employees, even as oil majors like Royal Dutch Shell and BP slashed their dividends in the past few months, the article highlighted.