Offshore Technology lists the top five terms tweeted on exploration in Q1 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 & Gas – 591 mentions in exploration

From companies getting awarded more offshore blocks for petroleum exploration, to the continuing drilling for oil and gas in the midst of a climate emergency, higher returns from clean energy as budgets get cut in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, and the impact of fossil fuel production on global warming, was popularly discussed in Q1 2020.

According to an article shared by Anas Alhajji, a renowned energy markets expert, researcher, author, and speaker, Norway is not shying away from oil needs. On the contrary, the Norwegian government has awarded as many as 28 oil and gas companies 69 offshore blocks for exploration in mature areas of its continental shelf.

Svein T Veitdal, a climate consultant and green business development leader, further tweeted on how multinational oil and gas companies such as BP, has been ignoring the climate crisis and continuing exploration for oil and gas at a number of sites. He further cautions with a study that oil and gas or fossil fuel production is contributing more global warming that expected. The study found that methane emissions from fossil fuels accounted for 25% and 40%, much larger than past estimations.

In other news, Ed Crooks, Vice-Chairman, Americas at Wood Mackenzie, discussed the consequence of oil price crash leading to flow of capital into renewables. Time would tell how clean energy spend is affected, with falling oil prices proving to be a silver lining for wind and solar projects. While pressures to commit to net-zero carbon intensifies, renewables present new opportunities for companies.

2. Oil production – 273 mentions

Deforestation risks to produce bio fuels, world oil trade post the global coronavirus pandemic and the oil price war, shutting down oil production because of low prices, efforts to bring in foreign investors to boost collapsing oil production, were some of the popularly discussed topics during the quarter. According to an article shared by Svein T Veitdal, a climate consultant, deforestation risks are heightened due to soy and palm oil production. Figures suggest that bio fuels accounted for 90% of the vegetable oil demand increase since 2015. The article further noted that bio fuels from soy and palm oil had higher emissions than fossil fuels.

Anas Alhajji, the energy markets expert, meanwhile raised concerns over the current oil price levels leading to a decline in global oil production. He added that production within OPEC members would also decline. The aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic coupled with the oil price war would eat up the storage, and eventually lead to shortage.

In other news, Ed Crooks, Vice-Chairman, Americas at Wood Mackenzie, discussed how the coronavirus outbreak has thrown the oil market into turmoil, leading to the biggest fall in oil prices in 30 years. Consequently, how much oil production has to be shut is the key concern here with companies, governments and other stakeholders likely to continue producing assets at a loss, as they hope the prices rebound quickly.

3. Coronavirus – 155 mentions

The global pandemic has hit the oil market brutally with crashing oil prices, forcing oil and gas companies to cut down on their production. Experts foresee a decline in global oil production, owing to the dramatic fall in oil demand as the Covid-19 crisis grips economies. According to David Sheppard, a Financial Times energy editor, market speculators are raising bets against the US oil and gas companies. The article noted that hedge funds scent opportunity amid plunging commodity prices and oversupply.

Stuart Wallace, Bloomberg News, EMEA director, shared an article on how China’s oil demand plummeted 20%, which is about 3 million barrels per day, because of the coronavirus lockdown. The largest demand shock since the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, is forcing OPEC and its allies to take immediate action in cutting oil production and curbing the decline in prices.

In other news, Svein T Veitdal, the climate consultant, tweeted that the Trump administration continues oil and gas leasing during price drop and the coronavirus pandemic, but what is needed now is green focus for long-term recovery from the virus crisis.

4. Oil price – 144 mentions

Falling oil prices, leading to oil price wars and clean energy economics looking more attractive were some widely discussed topics during Q1 2020. According to an article shared by Ed Crooks, Vice-Chairman, Americas at Wood Mackenzie, one consequence of the oil price crash is the increased flow of capital into renewable energy. While the oil and gas sector struggles to generate cash to maintain operations and stakeholders’ commitments, diversification into clean energies will ensure their long-term survival.

David Sheppard, a Financial Times energy editor, shared an article on Goldman Sachs declaring that oil prices could fall to $20 a barrel as Saudi launches a price war. The article further noted that the new oil order meant that low cost producers increased supply from their spare capacity, thereby forcing higher cost producers to reduce output.

In other news, Dick Winchester, an energy tech consultant, advisor, and columnist, tweeted on the oil price collapse being a result of Putin refusing to support the Saudi proposal to cut oil production in order to level the price. He further added that this could be Russia’s move to damage western oil markets and increase its oil market share.

5. Crude – 135 mentions

Plummeting crude prices and the coronavirus-spurred uncertainty is suppressing long-term investments. The cancellation of crude exports facilities, cheap crude, and the possibility of more oil-sands producers shutting operations, were popularly discussed during the quarter. According to Stuart Wallace, Bloomberg News, EMEA director, a barrel of heavy Canadian crude is now about the same price as a venti-sized Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. The article shared by the influencer noted that Canadian heavy crude has become so cheap that the cost of shipping exceeds its actual value.

Canada is among the first to experience the blow of the global crude price collapse, caused by the coronavirus outbreak and Saudi Arabia’s pledge to unleash record amounts of supply.

Marianna Parraga, an energy correspondent, shared an article on the first-ever cargo of Guyanese oil, Liza light sweet crude, having set sail to be refined by ExxonMobil in the US Gulf. The Exxon-led venture is expected to reap 750,000 barrels of crude per day by 2025, enough to empower Guyana as an oil power alongside Venezuela and Brazil.

In other news, Ed Crooks, Vice-Chairman, Americas at Wood Mackenzie, tweeted on how employment in the US oil and gas industry has stagnated as production has boomed. The influencer added that US crude production has risen more than 30% since May 2018. However, this did not affect the numbers employed.