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Oil & Gas Influencers trends: Covid-19 leads Twitter mentions in Q1 2021

16 Apr 2021 (Last Updated April 16th, 2021 15:38)

Offshore Technology lists the top five terms tweeted by Oil & Gas Influencers in Q1 2021, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform.

Oil & Gas Influencers trends: Covid-19 leads Twitter mentions in Q1 2021
Credit: Bannafarsai_Stock, Shutterstock.com.

The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

1. Covid-19 – 767 mentions

The impact of Covid-19 pandemic on Exxon Mobil’s oil and gas (O&G) reserves, global oil prices surge amid easing of lockdowns and concerns about fuel demand amid global lockdowns were some popular topics discussed in Q1. According to an article shared by Ron Bousso, an energy reporter at Reuters, US-based oil and gas company Exxon Mobil’s O&G reserves declined by one-third in 2020 due to the adverse effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global oil prices and demand.

The company’s total reserves dropped to 15.2 billion barrels of oil and gas last year, compared with 22.4 billion barrels in 2019, predominantly driven by Canadian oil sands and American shale gas assets. Exxon reduced the value of its shale gas properties by more than $20bn in 2020. The drop in total oil and gas assets was far greater than the decline witnessed during the 2014-2016 oil price decline, when the company cuts its reserves by 4.8 billion, the article highlighted.

Further, Stephanie Kelly, an energy reporter at Reuters, shared an article about the global oil prices rising as demand is hitting pre-Covid-19 levels, thanks to relaxation of lockdowns in countries like India and China. The gasoline prices across Europe, US and Asia hit one-year highs providing huge relief to the struggling oil industry, which endured its worst demand slump triggered by the pandemic in 2020.

Asia is expected to be at the forefront of recovery as China and India, the biggest oil importers, eased lockdown restrictions. The demand, however, is still lower than previous forecasts issued by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) although it is expected to pick up in the second half of the year, the article noted.

Other discussions surrounding Covid-19 included strict worldwide Covid-19 lockdowns leading to fall in Brent Crude prices and renewing concerns about global fuel demand, according to an article shared by Dan Popescu, a geopolitical analyst. The concerns about fuel demand triggered by resurgence of coronavirus cases and travel curbs created selling pressure. A stronger US dollar, buoyed by hopes of additional stimulus from the government also resulted in fall in Brent Crude prices, the article highlighted.

2. Pricing – 257 mentions

Oil price to play pivotal role in economic recovery of Canadian province, gas prices in the US projected to rise this year and Brent oil prices surpassing the $60 per barrel mark were some widely discussed topics in the last quarter. According to an article shared by Anas Alhajji, an energy market expert, the economic revival of Alberta province in Canada following the Covid-19 pandemic induced slump will depend on oil prices and coronavirus vaccination drive.

The provincial government substantially overvalued oil prices in the 2020 Budget, but the oil price projections for the current year budget are much more moderate. The 2021 outlook estimates US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) price to average at $46 per barrel in 2021-22, before hitting $56 per barrel before 2023-24, the article highlighted.

Patrick De Haan, an oil and refined products analyst, further shared an article about the expected rise in gas prices in the US in 2021 as the nation recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic induced downturn. The national average could hit $3 per gallon, subject to the US recovering from the pandemic. The country’s gasoline bill will increase to nearly $326bn, an increase of $45bn from 2020, as the average household’s spending on gasoline is expected to hit $1,670.

The national average is projected to rise by $1 per gallon, peaking in July, as Americans are reverting to pre-pandemic lifestyles. Other factors influencing the US gas price surge include the recovery of global oil demand and output, and federal government’s likely policy change on oil industry and petroleum usage, the article noted.

Pricing also trended in discussions shared by Benedict Exconde, an agricultural economist, about Brent Crude oil price going past $60 per barrel in February, for the first time in more than one year. The crude price hit $60.19 a barrel, jumping 1.26% buoyed by vaccine rollout, reduction in coronavirus cases and Covid-19 stimulus package proposed by the US Federal government. The investors are bullish on the oil demand rebounding to pre-pandemic levels as the global economy is recovering from the Covid-19 induced downturn in 2020, the article highlighted.

3. OPEC – 214 mentions

Oil prices surging amid OPEC+ output talks and vaccine rollouts were broadly discussed topics in Q1 2021. According to an article shared by Art Berman, a geologist, Brent crude futures surged by 4.9% to $2.51, following Saudi Arabia’s announcement to make voluntary oil output cuts of one million bpd in February and March. Saudi Arabia’s production cuts are part of an agreement to convince OPEC+ members, consisting of OPEC members and allies, to maintain output amid fears that Covid-19 lockdowns will slump global demand, the article highlighted.

OPEC was also discussed in an article shared by Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, about oil prices soaring since the start of 2021 amid coronavirus vaccine rollout and restriction of supplies following output cuts by OPEC and OPEC+ members. The oil prices hit a 13-month high in February, with Brent crude price reaching $63.76 per barrel, and US WTI crude prices touching $60.95, the article highlighted.

4. Vaccines – 83 mentions

Covid-19 vaccination drive in the US made possible by O&G sector, Covid-19 vaccines to boost LNG demand and return of oil demand depending on efficacy of coronavirus vaccines were some extensively discussed topics during the previous quarter. According to an article shared by Jude Clemente, an O&G expert, the Covid-19 vaccination programme in US was possible predominantly thanks to the O&G industry. The movement of vaccines from manufacturing sites to administration sites was facilitated by the transportation system fuelled by oil and gas.

Further, Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine needs to be stored at -700C and Moderna vaccine at -200C, and it is the O&G industry that makes the refrigeration required for the storage possible. While the media highlighted the role of Covid-19 vaccines in improving consumer demand for energy, it needs to focus on how the energy sector enables the seamless implementation of the vaccination drive, the article highlighted.

Giovanni Staunovo, a commodity analyst, further, shared an article about Cheniere Energy, a US-based liquified natural gas (LNG) producer, increasing its 2020 adjusted earnings projection. The company expanded their annual earnings estimate, expecting that the Covid-19 vaccine rollout will revive LNG demand, which plunged last year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The global energy demand declined worldwide due to lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus, but fuel sales increased gradually by year-end owing to economic recovery in Asia, the article noted.

Another discussion related to vaccines was shared by Lance Jepsen, owner of GuerillaStockTrading.com, a stock trading blog, about recovery of oil demand depending on the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines. The coronavirus vaccination drive and output cuts announced by Saudi Arabia have helped oil prices recover marginally. The lifting of coronavirus-related lockdowns will result in recovery of travel demand leading to growth of oil demand and prices, the article highlighted.

5. Crude – 59 mentions

WTI crude prices hitting a 12-month high and oil supply shortage leading to surge in crude prices were some trending topics discussed during the first quarter of the year. According to an article shared by Margaret Yang, a strategist at DailyFX, a commodity trading news portal, WTI crude prices reached their highest in more than 12 months in February owing to drop in crude inventories and approval of $1.9tn Covid-19 relief package by the US Senate. The surge in WTI crude price is an indicator of positive energy demand outlook, following the unprecedented demand fall last year in the wake of the ongoing pandemic, the article highlighted.

Another discussion surrounding crude was shared by NoOil4Pacifists, an economist, about the surge in oil demand and the supply deficit resulting in crude prices reaching their highest levels since the Covid-19 outbreak in March 2020. The oil market recovery was driven by government ban on fracking and the resurgence of oil demand. The pace at which the demand rallied despite the pandemic startled analysts and investors alike, the article highlighted.