Oil production leads as Offshore Technology lists the top five terms tweeted on exploration in August 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform.

1. Oil and oil production – 99 mentions

Benefits of energy trading for the oil majors, storms shutting down oil production, and companies’ efforts to slash oil production to meet low carbon goals, were some of the popularly discussed topics in August. According to an article shared by Karen Braun, a global agriculture columnist, hurricane Laura’s predicted hit on the Texas-Louisiana coast was the biggest catastrophe US oil output had suffered in 15 years. She further added that US oil producers shut down 84% of their offshore oil produce, amounting to 1.56 million barrels per day of production.

Ed Crooks, an energy editor, meanwhile, discussed the levelling-out of American oil production. The east coast of the US is on the edge of boom in offshore wind, while US oil production seemed to be stabilising, the article noted.

In other news, Francisco J Monaldi, a leading scholar on the politics and economics of the oil industry, shared data on Venezuela’s oil production. The data suggested that the organisation of the petroleum exporting countries (OPEC) had revised the country’s oil production in June, to bring it down to 336,000 barrels per day from 356,000 barrels per day. In July, the country produced 339,000 barrels per day.

2. Oil and Gas – 69 mentions

Plans to expand oil and gas production despite the big oil hit, transition strategies forcing the reduction of oil and gas production, and approvals being sought to develop oil fields, were popularly discussed during the month. According to an article shared by Svein T Veitdal, a climate consultant, leading oil and gas companies, especially in the US, have suffered huge losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. Petroleum companies in Europe and the US, however, do not seem to be turning away from their fossil fuels business yet, and have plans to expand their output in the coming years, the article highlighted.

Ron Bousson, an energy reporter, meanwhile, discussed oil and gas company BP Plc’s plans to cut down production by 40% by 2030 as part of its transition strategy. The company is trying to win investors by reinventing its position as a lower carbon company, the article noted.

In other news, Anjli Raval, a senior energy correspondent, tweeted that Saudi Arabian oil company Aramco will continue to play an active role in energy transition. The company’s CEO stated that oil and gas will remain an important part of the energy mix, she further added.

3. Gas – 34 mentions

The discovery of a new gas field in the Black Sea, record monthly drop in natural gas production, and gas drilling rights, were popularly discussed during the month. According to an article shared by Omid Shokri, a senior energy security and energy policy analyst, the future of gas would now be different in the event of the discovery of a new gas field in the Black Sea in Turkey. If extraction is economical for Turkey, the country will not have to depend on gas imports from Iran, Russia, and Azerbaijan in the near future.

Meanwhile, Anas Alhajji, an energy markets expert, shared data on how Texas witnessed the largest monthly drop in natural gas production by 2.3 billion cubic feet per day or 8.1% in May this year.

In other news, Robin Mills, a fellow at the Iraq Energy Institute, discussed how the discovery of two oil and gas fields in northern Saudi Arabia could help meet its gas targets and supply to the west coast. Saudi Aramco has also stated that it will drill more wells to discover how much oil and gas reserves the fields hold.

4. Barrels – 32 mentions

Export of crude oil and fuel, the confiscation of barrels of gasoline, and the reduction of oil and gas production by oil companies, were popularly discussed during the month. According to an article shared by Marianna Párraga, an energy correspondent, the US confiscated 1.11 million barrels of Iranian fuel shipments en route to Venezuela. The US has imposed numerous sanctions on the countries and also on ship owners or vessels that trade in oil with Tehran and Caracas, the article noted.

In other news, Lisa Viscidi, the director of the Energy, Climate Change & Extractive Industries Program at the Inter-American Dialogue, shared an article on how faulty heat exchangers caused the spilling of an estimated 25,000 barrels of oil along western Venezuela’s coastline. The heat exchanger systems use sea water as coolant in crude oil processing. However, the heat exchanger systems were contaminated when PdV’s El Palito refinery tried to push fuel production, the article noted.

5. Production – 26 mentions

A drop in oil production, revision of oil prices, and the shutting down of offshore production, were popularly discussed in August. According to an article shared by Kevin Crowley, an oil reporter, Occidental Petroleum will have just one oil rig in the Permian Basin in the latter part of the year, indicating the company’s debt woes. The article further suggested that Occidental is shrinking in market value and production recorded a 13% drop to 1.23 million barrels per day with a further 5% decline expected in the future.

In other news, David Gareth, an energy editor, shared an article on how the twin US Gulf storms have caused offshore oil refineries to cease production.

Tropical storms Marco and Laura threatened to bring heavy rains, forcing oil producers to shut oil production by more than one million barrels per day, amounting to 9% of the country’s total output, the article highlighted.