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Economic Update: Exports to China could fall by 46% – 40 million unemployed in US – international community needs to revisit finance goals

29 May

According to new UNCTAD research, Global exports of commodities to China could plunge by $15.5 billion to $33.1 billion in 2020.

This is a drop of up to 46% compared with annual growth projections before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

The US Department Of Labor has revealed that over 40 million Americans are now unemployed.

Some 2.1 million registered as unemployed in the past week, which is down from the numbers registering during the week prior.

Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said that the:  “International community needs to revisit financing goals for the 2030 global development agenda in order to respond to the economic challenge of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Chakrabarti also noted that: “The Addis Ababa Action Agenda had called for the delivery of much more private sector finance into the global development system. But, even before the onslaught of the coronavirus, only “stuttering progress” had been made in this regard.”

11:29 am

Covid-19 impact on London listed independent oil and gas companies

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant oil price crash, all companies in the oil and gas industry have been affected. An analysis of a group of London listed independent oil and gas companies suggests that past performance and current strategic moves position some better than others to handle the current volatility

Click here to read the full story.

9:24 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Subsea 7 to lose nearly 25% of staff – Oil glut may continue to next year

29 May

Oil services firm Subsea 7 has decided to trim its global workforce by nearly a quarter as part of its cost reduction programme. The move will make around 3,000 employees redundant by the end of the second quarter of 2021. The company is aiming to preserve its cash flow to strengthen itself through the coronavirus pandemic.

Russia’s Gazprom Neft has reported a loss of $194m (RUB13.8bn) in the first quarter of the year, blaming weak Russian currency and low oil prices. In the same period last year, the company registered a profit of RUB107.9bn. Gazprom Neft also reported its quarterly revenue fell by 12% compared to the same time last year.

Earlier this week, Offshore Technology reported on the difficulties Gazprom is facing in Eastern Europe.

The US Department of Interior is planning to enable the drilling companies to defer royalty payments on oil and gas production from federal lands. Reuters cited the White House website as saying the proposal is currently being reviewed.

The global oil glut, developed after demand fell during the initial outbreak of Covid-19, may extend to next year if economic recovery is slower, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas president Robert Kaplan told Reuters. Since the beginning of this year, crude oil prices have plunged nearly 45%.

9:21 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 infections exceed 5.8 million – more than 100,000 covid deaths in US

29 May

Global: The number of people infected by Covid-19 has exceeded 5.8 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The World Health Organization is reviewing the position of its goodwill ambassador, James Chau, who was involved in the airing of an alleged forced confession on Chinese state television, according to the Financial Times.

Europe: There have been more than 159,000 excess deaths in Europe since since early March, during the height of the coronavirus epidemic, the head of the World Health Organization’s regional office for the continent said.

US: The number of Americans who have lost their jobs in the past 10 weeks soared to more than 40 million, with 2.1 million people filing for unemployment last week.

The US has now recorded more than 100,000 deaths from Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University, as many states continued to relax mitigation measures.

American Airlines Group Inc. will cut 30% of its management and support staff, about 5,100 jobs, in response to the dramatic decline in travel brought on by the pandemic.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has started an inquiry into companies that received US stimulus funds, scrutinizing whether representations made in loan applications were consistent with disclosures in securities filings, according to three people familiar with the matter.

UK: Up to six people will be able to meet outside in the UK from Monday, providing members of different households continue to stay two metres apart, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

Russia: Health officials in Moscow updated their figures on coronavirus deaths to add those who “died with” the virus.

Philippines: The Philippines has recorded its highest daily infection rate – 539 new cases – but will ease lockdowns. Residents in Manila will see their lockdown – one of the toughest and longest in the world – ease from Monday, despite the Philippines seeing its biggest spike in coronavirus cases on Thursday.

China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has said it had approved a $750m loan to the Philippines to help the country cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

India: India’s health system is at risk of being overwhelmed by Covid-19 spread.

South Korea: South Korea’s education ministry has announced plans to limit the number of students attending classes in schools in the Seoul metropolitan area amid a spike in new coronavirus infections.

Brazil: Brazil registered a new record in Covid-19 cases and more than 1,000 deaths in a 24-hour period, according to official figures out Thursday.

Australia: The Australian state of New South Wales has said the coronavirus pandemic could cost it as much 20 billion Australian dollars ($13.3bn) in lost revenues over the next four years, underscoring the urgency to revive the country’s stuttering economy.

Turkey: Turkey will open restaurants and beaches and end travel restrictions between cities on June 1, while keeping weekend curfews in some cities for a bit more, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday.

Japan: The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is planning to ease business restrictions to “step 2” of its reopening plan from Monday, allowing shopping malls, gyms and movie theaters to reopen, Nikkei reported, without attribution.

7:35 am

Covid-19 pandemic may increase China’s deficit to historic high

29 May

Economies across the world have announced stimulus packages to deal with the impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Although these packages are essential, they are not reaching the people who need it the most and increasing the deficit-to-GDP ratio.

Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, shared a tweet on China’s deficit-to-GDP ratio. The article notes that China had a policy of placing a 3% ceiling on its deficit-to-GDP ratio.

The Covid-19 pandemic has broken this ceiling with the ratio exceeding 3.6% of GDP. The pandemic has added RMB1tn ($140.2bn) to the government’s deficit spending.

Read more

10:30 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: South America the new Covid epicenter – in North America Mexico reports its highest daily total

28 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 5,716,000 with over 356,000 deaths and 2,367,000 recoveries.

South America has emerged as the new epicenter of the pandemic, currently representing 30% of the global daily incidence.

Brazil, Peru, and Chile continue to show concerning incidence trends.

In North America, Mexico has reported its highest daily total to date as the epidemic accelerates in the country.

South Africa has reported its lowest daily incidence since 12 May.

However, the country still has the highest number of cumulative cases.

Nanthida Nanthavong, MPH, Epidemiologist, GlobalData

2:33 pm

Economic Update: More women losing jobs than men – ECB says financial stability is at risk’ – estimated 56 million out of work in China

28 May

Citi research has shown that the Covid-19 crisis is leading to more women then men losing their jobs, mainly due to the sectors that are being impacted most as well as often their role as caretaker of children or elderly.

Citi wrote on its blog: “Given this level of economic loss from women leaving the workforce, decision makers must take women into account in any policies being implemented to address the Covid-19 economic disruptions.

“These policies should be some of the same vital policies that supported female labor force participation and employment prior to the coronavirus shock.

“They include policy options that support women, workers, and families with caring responsibilities, options that support women, workers, and families facing job and economic loss, and policy options to support entrepreneurs and small business owners.”

 

The European Central Bank (ECB) has said that financial stability risks could arise as pre-pandemic vulnerabilities interact with the pandemic. These include richly valued asset prices, fragile investment funds, the sustainability of sovereign and corporate debt, and weak bank profitability.

ECB Vice-President Luis de Guindos said: “The pandemic has caused one of the sharpest economic contractions in recent history, but wide-ranging policy measures have averted a financial meltdown.

“However, the repercussions of the pandemic on bank profitability prospects and medium-term public finances will need to be addressed so that our financial system can continue to support the economic recovery.”

 

HSBC chief China economist Qu Hongbin wrote on the company’s blog that by April, only 76% of Chinese SMEs were back in business compared with 99% of larger companies in China.

Qu Hongbin wrote: “That means an estimated 56 million workers had not returned to work – many in locked-down retail or catering firms.

“Unlike in countries such as the US and UK, mainland China has not implemented a wage-protection scheme for furloughed workers.

“This means most of the estimated 81 million Chinese, or 18% of urban workers, who became ’employed, but not working’, were not receiving income.”

Hongbin believes that propping up domestic demand to support jobs thus remains a policy priority for China.

11:24 am

Fitch Solutions predicts 50% drop in oil prices due to Covid-19

Analyst Fitch Solutions yesterday held a webinar looking into the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and predicted difficult times ahead for the oil and gas industry.

The group estimates oil prices to fall by around 50% compared to last year, the most dramatic decline amidst a number of falling commodity prices, including copper, coal and iron. This trend is set to have the most pronounced impact on countries whose economies are heavily reliant on oil production, with Angola estimated to lose a quarter of its GDP as a result of declining oil prices and exports; the country relies on oil and gas for 37% of its GDP, 75% of government revenues and 90% of its exports, so is set to be hit particularly hard by the pandemic.

This trend is replicated across a number of current and former OPEC members, with contractions of 24% for Iraq and around 15% for Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as the price drops hit the global oil industry. However, there were some positives, with webinar host John Ashbourne noting that a few countries will actually see GDP grow in response to the crisis, even if these gains are relatively limited.

“There are oil importers,” he said, “which will now spend less money than they otherwise would have for their oil, and so will save some money.

“The numbers are a lot smaller [than the losses],” he conceded. “The country with the most positive [outcome], which is Thailand, is gaining about 3% of GDP in savings, which is very small compared to the fall in countries like Kuwait and Qatar.”

9:40 am

Upstream impact of Covid-19 and depressed oil prices on Asian NOCs

With the continuous impact of Covid-19 pandemic and depressed oil prices, it remains of paramount importance that Asian National Oil Companies (NOCs) continue to operate with minimal disruption to safeguard national resources and provide for the domestic economy.

A number of factors have been assessed to scale the impact on Asian NOCs upstream business and associated risks under the current economic climate.

Click here to read the full story.

9:39 am

International Update: Global Covid cases near 5.7 million – more than 100,000 deaths in US as states relax lockdowns

28 May

Global: Known global cases near 5.7 million, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The UN World Food Program is warning that upward of at least 14 million people could go hungry in Latin America as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

US: Defence Secretary Mark Esper said that as the US military prepares for another potential wave of the coronavirus, it may do things a bit differently, providing more targeted aid for cities and states and possibly shorter quarantine times for troops.

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that the United States has recorded more than 100,000 deaths from Covid-19, moving past a sombre milestone even as many states relax mitigation measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Employers could bring workers back to office buildings more safely with steps including improving office ventilation, spacing workers apart and reducing shared objects like communal coffee pots, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Europe: Over a third of European foreign direct investment projects announced in 2019 have been either delayed or cancelled outright because of the coronavirus pandemic, an annual survey by professional services group EY found.

European governments moved to halt the use of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 patients, and a second global trial was suspended. These are further blows to hopes for a treatment promoted by US President Donald Trump.

South Korea: South Korea has reported its biggest daily increase in coronavirus cases in 53 days, triggering warnings it may have to revert to stricter social distancing measures after appearing to have brought the outbreak under control.

Colombia: More than 200 Colombian nationals have asked their government to send a special flight to bring them home after camping out inside Brazil’s Sao Paulo’s international airport.

Thailand: Thailand on Thursday reported 11 new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, bringing its total to 3,065 confirmed cases and 57 fatalities since the outbreak started in January.

China: China will soon relax its border controls for seven more countries, the country’s civil aviation agency said, allowing domestic and foreign airlines to apply for the so-called “green channels” for chartered flights to the mainland.

9:28 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Outbreak for Shell in Gulf of Mexico – Chevron to lay off 15% of workers

28 May

Chevron is set to cut 15% of its global workforce as part of an ongoing restructuring process during the Covid-19 pandemic. Reuters reported the company currently has around 45,000 employees. Previously, Chevron announced to reduce its 2020 spending by 30% due to oil price crash following the outbreak.

Royal Dutch Shell has reported five Covid-19 cases on a company platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The company airlifted a total of nine employees from offshore after they exhibited symptoms. Five of them then tested positive for coronavirus, with two negative results and two yet to be confirmed, according to the Houston Chronicle. Shell is now testing all offshore workers before they are flown to platforms.

UK operator Neptune Energy has reported limited disruption to operations in its first quarter results. The company reported a cash flow of $355m in the first three months of 2020. It also terminated the agreement to acquire Edison E&P’s UK and Norwegian subsidiaries from Energean Oil & Gas.

Maersk Drilling has reported a quarterly revenue of $279m in 2020 Q1. In a statement, the company said it is well positioned to respond to the current crisis. Maersk Drilling recently revised its full-year guidance for this year, aiming to keep capital expenditures around $150m.

7:44 am

Covid-19 pandemic could cause housing crisis in US

28 May

The lockdown measures imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic has forced workers to stay home and unable to work and earn money.

The unemployment benefits offered by the US government are not reaching the workers due to delays and eligibility issues.

As a result, the pandemic may cause a housing crisis as workers are unable to pay rent.

Pedro da Costa, Federal Reserve and economy watcher at Market News International, on how the pandemic may result in homelessness in the US.

California is expected to face an increase of 20% in homelessness and a more severe rate in other parts of the US.

If the economic downturn continues, the US is expected to witness more evictions and foreclosures than those recorded during the Great Recession.

Experts believe that it is essential that the government cover the costs of rent and help workers and landlords to avoid a housing crisis.

Read more

4:25 pm

CEOs reaffirm commitment to climate action in open letter

Business leaders forming the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) have written an open letter to restate their commitment to action on tackling emissions and climate issues.

Signatories to the OGCI letter include the CEOs of Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total, Eni, Repsol and Saudi Aramco.

It reads: “We have heard concerns that this crisis may push oil and gas companies – and governments around the world – to delay climate action. The reality is that rather than shifting our priorities, the Covid-19 crisis is further crystallizing our focus on what is essential: health, safety and protection of the environment while providing the energy and vital products that society needs to support economic recovery.”

The companies later reiterate their commitment to schemes such as methane reduction and carbon capture, while supporting government policy and individual climate targets. However, the letter stops short of mentioning greenhouse gases or new targets.

3:23 pm

Economic Update: Fitch Ratings cuts GDP forecasts again – McKinsey see opportunities for a greener recovery

27 May

Fitch Ratings has made further cuts to world GDP forecasts in its latest Global Economic Outlook (GEO).

Brian Coulton, Chief Economist, Fitch Ratings, said: “World GDP is now forecast to fall by 4.6% in 2020 compared to a decline of 3.9% predicted in our late-April GEO.

“This reflects downward revisions to the eurozone and the UK and, most significantly, to emerging markets (EM) excluding China.”

Fitch now expects Eurozone GDP to fall by 8.2% in 2020 compared to a contraction of 7.0%, and the UK 7.8% this year.

McKinsey has said that the tragedy of Covid-19 does present an opportunity for a greener recovery.

The consultancy said: “Low-carbon recovery could not only initiate the significant emissions reductions needed to halt climate change but also create more jobs and economic growth than a high-carbon recovery would.

“Our analysis of stimulus options for a European country suggests that mobilizing €75 billion to €150 billion of capital could yield €180 billion to €350 billion of gross value added, generate up to three million new jobs, and enable a carbon-emissions reduction of 15 to 30% by 2030.

Nomura predicted that Covid-19 is to derail Asia’s GDP growth to -0.5% y-o-y in 2020, from 5.3% in 2019. 8 out of 10 economies will contract in 2020 in the region.

The investment bank also said: “We expect China’s GDP growth to remain negative at -0.5% in Q2 and Beijing to roll out a large stimulus package soon.”

3:18 pm

Genel Energy and DNO witness production decline in Kurdistan amid Covid-19

Norwegian oil and gas operator DNO and Turkish company Genel Energy have announced in separate statements that their production in Kurdistan, the Kurdish-populated region in Iraq, is expected to average 100,000 barrels of oil per day in 2020.

This is a result of declining oil prices and irregular export payments, caused by the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

DNO and Genel Energy have cut production estimates and spending in Kurdistan this year, but have stated that work is ready to resume when prices strengthen again.

1:23 pm

Is Russia’s energy influence on Eastern Europe falling?

On Monday, flows of Russian oil to a German pumping ended, with operator Gascade saying it was no longer worth it operating the pumping station around the clock.

As global consumption decreases, Eastern European countries have taken the opportunity to lessen their reliance on Russia. A report by Esperis has shown how Belarus is looking to buy from elsewhere, while Poland’s national oil company is looking to enforce a $1.5bn ruling it won against Gazprom.

Read more here.

9:28 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Annual energy investment to fall 20% on last year – Outbreaks for six Brazilian operators

27 May

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has warned that global energy investment may fall by nearly 20% this year, a total of $400bn, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. At the start of the year, global energy investment was slated to increase by 2%. This plunge could have a serious impact on energy security, the agency added.

At least six offshore oil and gas platform operators in Brazil have reported Covid-19 cases among staff or contractors. Reuters reported the affected companies include Equinor, Perenco and Dommo Energia. Brazil is currently one of the most affected countries by coronavirus, reporting more than 390,000 cases.

Algeria anticipates its budget deficit for this year will touch 10.4% of GDP, significantly higher than the earlier estimate of 7.2%. It puts this down to a fall in revenues from its oil and gas sector. The government now aims to achieve $17.7bn of oil and gas export revenue for 2020, nearly half of its earlier forecast of $35.2bn.

Norway’s BW Offshore has recorded a $233.1m non-cash impairment to the value of its floating production vessel fleet and other assets for first quarter this year. The company also announced measures to ensure the safety of its workers and minimise risk of business interruptions.

7:23 am

Economic recovery following Covid-19 may be more sluggish than initially predicted

27 May

The global economy is expected to face a prolonged downturn due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many have predicted a U-shaped recovery as countries slowly ease restrictions. However, as the threat of a second wave of infections looms, the recovery may be more L-shaped with a sluggish recovery ahead.

Nouriel Roubini, Professor at Stern School NYU, shared an article containing his views on the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He noted that the economic recovery will not be U-shaped as claimed by many economists but rather L-shaped resembling a greater depression.

Roubini noted that an L-shaped recovery means the economy will contract sharply and stay there for an extended period of time.

Read more

6:48 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: US Covid-19 deaths approach 100,000 – cases still on the increase in Brazil – Japan lifts state of emergency

27 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reach over 5,518,000 with over 346,700 deaths and 2,232,000 recoveries.

In the US, there are over 1,662,000 cases and over 98,000 deaths. However, Covid-19 deaths in the US are on the decline.

Brazil’s daily incidence is reported to be second only to the US and may become number one globally if the increasing incidence trend continues.

Daily incidence rates also continue to rise in Peru and Chile, making these three South American countries in the top six countries in terms of daily incidence rates.

In Japan, the state of emergency has lifted and marks the official end of the restrictions. The prime minister ended the state of emergency after a month and a half.

Japan currently has over 16,500 cases and over 800 deaths.

Nanthida Nanthavong, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

3:47 pm

Easing lockdown leads to increased gasoline and distillates reserves

An analyst team from Exante, the international investment services company, has shared its outlook that the collapsing oil prices and quarantine softening are prompting an increase in oil refinement levels, which leads to rich reserves of gasoline and distillates.

Click here for the full article

9:42 am

International Update: WHO warns of second Covid-19 peak as lockdowns ease, Indonesia deploys army and police after record infections surge

26 May

Global: There are almost 5.5 million Covid-19 cases worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins university coronavirus tracker, which has counted a total of 5,495,061 confirmed infections. The death toll stands at 346,232.

Countries where coronavirus infections are declining could still face an “immediate second peak” if they let up too soon on measures to halt the outbreak, the World Health Organization said on Monday.

The World Health Organization has suspended testing the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in Covid-19 patients due to safety concerns.

Indonesia: Indonesia deployed hundreds of thousands of army and police personnel across the vast archipelago to enforce social-distancing rules, after a record surge in infections in the past week cast doubt on plans to reopen Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

US: The White House brings forward Brazil travel restrictions by two days, amending the timing to 11.59pm ET on Tuesday, 26 May.

The Trump administration said sufficient quantities of Abbott Laboratories’ ID NOW Covid-19 test and Quidel Corp.’s Sofia 2 instruments exist to support 200 million US tests per month.

Latam Airlines Group SA, Latin America’s largest air carrier, sought bankruptcy court protection in New York after the Covid-19 pandemic grounded flights across the region.

Australia: Australia will not open the country’s borders “anytime soon”, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday, but added the country will continue its discussions with neighbouring New Zealand for a trans-Tasman safe travel zone.

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia will revise curfew times this week, and lift it entirely across the Kingdom with the exception of the holy city of Mecca starting 21 June, state news agency reported in a statement early on Tuesday.

Germany: Germany threw Lufthansa a €9bn (US$9.8bn) lifeline on Monday, agreeing a bailout which gives Berlin a veto in the event of a hostile bid for the airline.

Iceland: Iceland eased its national alert against the coronavirus on Monday, allowing for public gatherings of up to 200 people and night clubs and gyms to reopen as the country nears complete recovery from the outbreak.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong International Airport will open for some transit services from 1 June, chief executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday.

China: China reported seven additional coronavirus cases by the end of 25 May , with all of them from abroad, according to a statement from the National Health Commission. Of the seven cases, five were reported in Inner Mongolia.

UK: England’s outdoor markets and car showrooms can reopen from 1 June, as soon as they can meet guidelines to protect shoppers and workers, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said as he urged the public to spend money in stores when the curbs are lifted.

 

9:21 am

Coronavirus company news summary – First infection on Kazakhstan field – India to use US storage

26 May

The Karachaganak field, one of the biggest gas condensate fields in Kazakhstan, has reported its first Covid-19 case. According to Reuters, authorities there have tightened lockdown measures following the detection of coronavirus to limit the spread of the disease. However, production is currently unaffected.

Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas has registered a revenue of $13.66bn (RM59.6bn) in the first quarter of this year. The figure represents a 4% fall from $14.2bn (RM62bn) recorded in the same period a year ago. The company primarily attributed the fall to lower prices of LNG, petroleum products and crude oil.

According to media reports, India is planning to store low-priced oil in US facilities as domestic inventory is full. Oil demand in India has significantly dropped due to Covid-19 crisis. India imports nearly 80% of its oil requirements.

Russia expects oil demand and supply will balance in the next two months, the country’s energy ministry tweeted citing minister Alexander Novak. Recently, Russia joined Middle-Eastern countries in cutting oil production after oil prices crashed.

7:29 am

Testing needs to be ramped up for economies to re-open

26 May

Experts across world continue to highlight the need to reopen economies to limit the economic upheaval caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, some believe that unless testing capabilities are ramped up, reopening the economy may result in an upsurge in infection rate.

A Testing ramp up with limited lockdown measures may be the most optimal solution to reopening the economy.

Kaushik Basu, Professor of Economics at Cornell University, shared a chart comparing the mortality rates across various countries.

He noted that the mortality rates are so different that emerging economies cannot blindly imitate the economic policies of those implemented by European and North American nations.

Basu added that economic revival will depend on a limited lockdown that will enable the economy to function.

2:06 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Brazil about to overtake Russia with most Covid-19 cases after US – Indonesia reports a sharp rise

23 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 5,110,000, with over 333,000 deaths and 1,950,000 recoveries.

Cases have been rising sharply in Latin America with Peru, Mexico, and Chile each continuing to experience a record number of daily cases or deaths.

Meanwhile, Brazil is set to overtake Russia with second most number of cases in the world after the US.

Cases in India are rising at the fastest pace in Asia with a record number of daily new cases.

Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world, is reporting sharp rise in new cases and will be the one to watch in the near future.

Indonesia is struggling to keep the spread of infection under reasonable control compared to neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

4:32 pm

Economic Update: McKinsey’s four forces that will mould the next normal – US DOL reveals more than 38 million unemployed

22 May

McKinsey has said that they are predicting “Four forces that will mold the next normal” in the post Covid-19 world.

Those being: The metamorphosis of demand, Rapid changes in the workforce, Shifts in regulation and Increasing information about protocols for safety.

According to the US Department Of Labor, (DOL) the US unemployment rate has increased by another 2.4 million in the week to 16 May, bringing the total of unemployed Americans to over 38 million since the start if the pandemic and consequent social distancing measures.

12:23 pm

Aberdeen Drilling Consultants unveils Covid-19 “resilience audit”

Scottish rig inspectors Aberdeen Drilling Consultants (ADC) has launched a “resilience audit”, a new service to help offshore operations maintain high standards of health and safety amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

ADC has worked with regulatory bodies, such as Oil and Gas UK and the country’s Health and Safety Executive, to develop the audit, which will assess clients in relation to a number of safety procedures, such as following social distancing rules and ensuring workplace hygiene, and makes a number of recommendations to improve performance.

Read more about ADC’s audit here.

9:33 am

Coronavirus company news summary – EnQuest reports strong production – US reduces drilling royalties

22 May

UK-based exploration and production company EnQuest has reported strong production in the first four months of the year despite the oil price crash following the Covid-19 pandemic. The company produced an average of 65,938 barrels oil equivalent per day in the four-month period, above the top end of its full-year 2020 production guidance.

The US Government has reduced royalties for several companies involved in oil and gas drilling activities on federal lands, Reuters reports, citing a government database. According to the database, royalty rates were reduced on at least 76 drilling leases in the state of Utah.

Qatar Petroleum is set to reduce its capital spending by around 30% this year due to the impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, the company’s CEO told Reuters. However, the company plans to expand its LNG capacity by the middle of this decade to remain on course. Qatar Petroleum also said that it will not reduce gas exports despite lower demand.

India’s oil demand is expected to remain weak and may take months to return to pre-pandemic levels, Bloomberg reports. Fuel consumption in the country dropped by up to 70% after the government imposed lockdown and restricted movement. Currently,  consumption is around 40% below last year’s levels.

9:32 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 5.1 million – Brazil deaths exceed 20,000 – Australia extends ban on cruise ship visits

22 May

Global: Global cases stand at 5,102,573, with deaths reported at 332,924, according to the Johns Hopkins university tracker.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Ukraine have reached an agreement in principle on a new $5bn aid package to help Kyiv battle the coronavirus crisis.

Germany and Russia urged the United Nations to partially reopen its New York City headquarters as the secretary general proposes to scale back the annual General Assembly meeting in September.

Brazil: Latin America’s biggest country has recorded a one-day death toll of 1,188, taking the confirmed total to 20,047.

Indonesia: Indonesia has had its biggest one day jump in cases: the world’s fourth most populous country reported 973 new infections on Thursday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 20,162.

South Korea: South Korea has reported 20 new cases, which came as health authorities worked to contain the cluster connected to Seoul nightclubs.

Thailand: Thailand reported no new coronavirus infections or deaths on Friday, maintaining the total of 3,037 confirmed cases and 56 fatalities since the outbreak started in January.

Thailand will extend its nationwide state of emergency for another month through June, according to Taweesilp Witsanuyotin, a spokesman for the Covid-19 centre.

China: China took the rare move of not setting an annual growth target this year after the coronavirus battered the world’s second-largest economy and ravaged global growth.

Australia: New South Wales has announced cafes and restaurants will be allowed to have up to 50 patrons from 1 June, up from ten currently allowed.

Australia extended its ban on cruise ship visits for three months until September 17. The Australian Border Force said any cruise ship capable of carrying more than 100 passengers is prohibited from operating cruises in the country.

Australia is seeking an exemption from a requirement that travellers arriving in the United Kingdom quarantine for 14 days to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

India: India’s central bank cut interest rates in an unscheduled announcement on Friday, ramping up support for an economy it expects will contract for the first time in more than four decades.

US: The US Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday that 27 antibody tests will no longer be distributed in the US, part of a previously announced crackdown on the tests.

8:03 am

Strategic lockdown lifting may help economies recover

22 May

Lockdown measures implemented due to the Covid-19 pandemic have led to contraction of GDP levels globally.

Research indicates that some of the damage caused by the pandemic may be undone by lifting the restrictions.

The lockdown measures, however, should be lifted based on a strategic approach to avoid the threat of a second wave of infections.

Gregory Daco, Chief US Economist at Oxford Economics, shared an article on how lifting of lockdown restrictions in China helped in returning the industry value to positive levels in April.

Retail sales, however, were lagging due to consumers’ maintaining voluntary social distancing.

The article notes that based on the trends in China, the global economy may start to expand again if the lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Consumers may start to spend on goods and services that they could not purchase in the second quarter but will also cut back their spending on other areas, the article added.

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7:25 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid cases exceed 5 million – increases continue in Latin America – no new cases in London

22 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 5,000,000, with over 328,000 deaths and 1,900,000 recoveries.

In Europe and North America, the daily confirmed cases continue to decrease in majority of the countries.

In Latin America, Peru, Mexico, and Chile each continues to experience a record number of daily cases or death.

Peru has second most number of cases after Brazil in Latin America.

Cases in India are increasing at the fastest pace in Asia with a 30% increase in cases since last week.

After facing the brunt of Covid-19 in the UK, London has reported steep decline in daily new cases with no new cases reported in the last 24 hours.

This is a positive development, but it remains to be seen if this decline in new cases will continue in the near future.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

2:14 pm

Economic Update: Covid-19 worst pandemic driven economic impact since 2000 – people could be out of work for 2-3 years

21 May

Deloitte economist Akrur Barua says that the economic impact of Covid-19 is likely to be more harsh than other epidemics and pandemics in Asia since 2000:

“The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Asia will likely be worse than other epidemics and pandemics due to three key reasons.

“Firstly, the scale of the current pandemic is much larger than any other health care crisis this century.

“Secondly, state-mandated social distancing in Asia (and the world over) now is way more severe than in the past.

“Finally, Asia plays a bigger role in the world economy and is more interconnected with the rest of the world now than at the time of SARS.”

A new report from the World Economic Forum looks at what the coronavirus pandemic means for the world, based on the views and analysis of 350 senior risk professionals.

Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum and Head of Centre for the New Economy and Society, concluded: “The effects of recent events will be felt by many businesses for years to come and some may not survive without support.

“We have to think much more carefully about helping with reskilling and upskilling, and providing better social safety nets for affected workers, because it may be a two- to three-year journey before they’re able to move into a new sector.

“We’re already starting to see some of the permanent structural changes brought about by the impact of the pandemic.

“As parts of Asia and Europe begin to emerge from lockdown restrictions, there are signs of seemingly permanent changes in consumer behavior.

“We have to start rethinking where future sources of economic growth will come from.”

 

12:16 pm

OGUK responds to oil price survey assessing Covid-19 impact

After a new study published yesterday, by economist Professor Alex Kemp, suggested that a third of all available oil and gas in the North Sea could be left untouched if the price of Brent Crude remains at $25 a barrel, Oil & Gas UK (OGUK), the British trade association, has responded to the findings.

OGUK market intelligence manager Ross Dornan said: “OGUK continues to work with governments and the OGA to understand how we can protect the sector now, support its recovery and accelerate net zero opportunities.

“We know that low oil and gas prices, along with the impact of Covid-19 on operations, have created a very uncertain outlook. This has resulted in difficult decisions having to be made by companies, with our recent Business Outlook Report warning [that] up to 30,000 jobs could be lost.

“Remaining as competitive as possible to attract investment, alongside innovative and flexible approaches and business models, will be required to ensure we can not only continue to meet as much of the UK’s energy needs from domestic oil and gas, but also prepare the UK to fully capitalise on net zero opportunities of the future.”

 

10:51 am

Covid-19 shock decimates demand growth for major petrochemicals in 2020

The global Covid-19 pandemic originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019. It has spread at an alarming rate across the world, surpassing 4.3 million cases worldwide and causing major disruption to the global economy.

The Covid-19 transmission turned Europe to the epicentre of the pandemic by mid-March, with Spain, the UK and Italy becoming the most-affected countries in the region. Later, the US leapfrogged, surpassing all countries and has been the worst-affected country in the world, accounting for approximately one-third of the total Covid-19 cases worldwide.

Click here to read the full article.

10:09 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Halliburton cuts dividend – pandemic halts Angola exploration

21 May

Oilfield services provider Halliburton has trimmed its quarterly dividend by 75% as the company seeks to bolster its capital flow amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The company announced a 2020 second-quarter dividend of $0.045 a share, while its board of directors approved a 20% voluntary reduction to their annual retainer.

Oil exploration and drilling activities have been suspended in Angola due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Reuters reports. French firm Total, which manages around 50% of the country’s oil output, told the news agency that it has halted drilling activity in Angola. Other operators have also suspended drilling operations.

The US Government has postponed an auction of oil and gas leases in New Mexico, at a time when the oil industry is struggling with the impact of Covid-19 pandemic. However, the government did not provide any reason for the move, according to Reuters. The oil and gas lease sale was scheduled to begin on 21 May.

Aberdeen Drilling Consultants (ADC) has introduced a resilience audit that will help oil and gas companies prevent the spread of Covid-19 at offshore installations. The audit will help companies adapt to the new working environment and review the best practices. The audit comes with ADC’s TRAMS digital rig audit management system or is available separately.

9:38 am

International Update: Covid-19 infections near 5 million – Europe told to brace itself for second wave – global trade lowest in four years says WTO

21 May

Global: After the biggest single-day increase in cases worldwide so far in the pandemic, the number of confirmed infections is close to 5 million, with the Johns Hopkins University data currently listing 4,996,634.

The World Health Organization gave a stark warning on Wednesday that the coronavirus pandemic is far from over, after 106,000 new cases were recorded worldwide over the past 24 hours – the most in a single day so far.

International imports and exports have fallen to their lowest level for at least four years, according to World Trade Organization figures.

Europe: Europe should brace itself for a second wave of coronavirus infections, according to the director of the EU agency responsible for advising governments on disease control.

European Union regulators called on passengers to wear face masks, observe physical distancing and frequently wash their hands in new guidelines for air travel in the age of Covid-19.

Greece: Tourists will be welcomed back to Greece from 15 June, the prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has announced.

Germany: German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the country won’t be cutting foreign aid due to the coronavirus pandemic, and further relief for poor nations is needed.

UK: The number of unaccompanied young migrants crossing the Channel from France to Britain has spiked during the coronavirus outbreak, as travel restrictions force them onto boats rather than trucks.

US: Donald Trump has said he may seek to revive a face-to-face meeting of Group of Seven leaders near Washington, after earlier canceling the gathering due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Expedia Group Inc. followed its peers in the online travel industry in witnessing a staggering decline in business since the spread of the virus, with total gross bookings down 39% in the first quarter.

Mexico: At least 500 Cuban health workers are helping tackle the coronavirus in Mexico City, Mexican officials told Reuters, making it likely the largest contingent the communist-led island has deployed globally as part of its response to the pandemic.

Japan: Japan’s economy minister says experts have approved a government plan to remove a coronavirus state of emergency in Osaka and two neighbouring prefectures in the west where the infection is deemed slowing, while keeping the measure in place in the Tokyo region and Hokkaido.

Cambodia: Cambodia has announced the lifting of a travel ban of tourists from Iran, Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the US.

South Korea: South Korea’s exports of coronavirus test kits are expected to gather momentum down the road due to high overseas demand, Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday, quoting industry sources.

 

7:44 am

Covid-19 driven recession could impact 2020 graduate careers for a decade

21 May

Unemployment levels have reached new highs over the last three months since the lockdown was initiated in the US.

As millions of students graduate during this uncertain time, their future job prospects remain bleak.

Careers and earnings may be impacted for graduates for many years.

Konstantina Beleli, an economist and journalist, shared an article on how million of students in US are graduating in one of the worst job markets witnessed since the Great Depression.

The article notes that the unemployment rate in the US currently stands at 14.7% but for people aged between 20 and 24, the rate increases to 25.7%, according to statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Research suggests that the careers and earnings of these students are expected to be impacted for more than a decade.

Read more

7:10 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global confirmed Covid-19 cases exceed 4.9 million – record daily numbers of new cases in South America

21 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,900,000, with over 323,000 deaths and 1,690,000 recoveries.

Brazil account for most of the daily confirmed cases in Latin America.

Meanwhile, countries to watch will be Peru, Mexico, and Chile as each continues to experience a record number of daily cases.

Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Chile have each set a record high of new daily cases.

In Europe and North America, the daily confirmed cases continue to decrease in majority of the countries.

It has been accepted that children are not the group most at risk from Covid-19.

However, as schools have started to reopen in Europe; it remains unclear whether they are super spreaders and transmit the infection even if they are asymptomatic.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

12:08 pm

Economic Update: US GDP to contract by 11% in Q2 – eyes on China’s additional fiscal support – UK GDP downgraded

20 May

The US Congressional Budget office has said that it estimates that real gross domestic product will contract by 11% in the second quarter of this year, which is equivalent to a decline of 38% at an annual rate, and that the number of people employed will be almost 26 million lower than the number in the fourth quarter of 2019.

World Bank commentators have written that all eyes are on China this week as additional fiscal support to stem downward pressure on growth is expected:

“How to spend may be as important as how much to spend. China’s fiscal stimulus should be aligned with its medium-term objectives of rebalancing the economy toward more inclusive and greener growth.

“This suggests that the priority this time around needs to be enhancing China’s social safety nets and investing in accelerating the transition toward a carbon-neutral, more resource-efficient and competitive economy.”

Deloitte UK chief economist Ian Stewart has written on the company’s blog that due to the UK’s slow lockdown easing and contraction of economic activity, the firm is downgrading its 2020 UK GDP forecast, ‘with an expected contraction of 11.7% compared to our previous estimate of 6.8%’.

Stewart says: “For 2021 we see the economy growing by 8.5%, up from a previous forecast of 6.5%. Our 2020 forecast is at the low end of the current range of forecasts, which on average expect a contraction of 7.9% this year.

“However, the trend has been for forecasters to downgrade their numbers, with more recent forecasts consistently more pessimistic than earlier ones.”

11:06 am

Odfjell and Total agree to delay South African drilling work

Norwegian drilling firm Odfjell Drilling has announced that it has reached an agreement with French giant Total to suspend proposed drilling work off the South African coast, due to ongoing uncertainties related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The two companies had originally agreed to begin drilling work in the second quarter of this year, using one of Odfjell’s Deepsea Stavanger drills, a facility designed for use in exploratory or development work, which can operate up to depths of three kilometres.

Read more about the impacts of Covid-19 on Total and Odfjell here.

11:04 am

Covid-19 crisis drives companies to rethink global expansion strategies

The UN Conference on Trade and Development estimates global foreign direct investment flows will contract by as much as 40% over the next year.

But is the impact equal across all sectors and geographies?

Where will companies pull back from, and where will tomorrow’s opportunities most likely be found?

How are companies changing their modes of entry for new markets in order to adapt to the current conditions?

NS Media Group – which is set to launch a dedicated information service focused on corporate cross-border expansion – is running a short survey to help answer these questions and would like to hear directly from executives in multinational companies involved in overseas investment decisions as to how corporate strategies are evolving.

This is an essential piece of research to better understand the impact Covid-19 is having in global business and investment.

View the survey

10:02 am

International Update: Covid-19 cases approach 5 million – EU criticizes Trump’s threat to permanently cut US funding for the WHO

20 May

Global: According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, at least 323,286 people are known to have died while at least 4,897,567 are confirmed as having been infected since the outbreak began.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday that the developed world could learn lessons from the preventative measures taken by many African countries to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Coronavirus shutdowns around the world could undo three years of gains in alleviating poverty, the president of the World Bank has said.

The European Union hailed the World Health Assembly’s approval of an EU-sponsored resolution on the virus, saying the move highlights the importance of a “collective response” to the pandemic and criticized Trump’s threat to permanently cut US funding for the WHO.

US: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday praised the Taiwan’s coronavirus response and called it a reliable partner, in a statement congratulating President Tsai Ing-wen on her inauguration for a second term that stood in sharp contrast with recent US criticism of China.

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority will use ultraviolet light to help remove Covid-19 from its subways, buses and commuter trains as the technology has been shown to eradicate the virus from surfaces.

Moderna Inc. fell as much as 12% after trade publication Stat reported the company withheld key information about its coronavirus vaccine.

The US and Canada will keep their border shut to non-essential travel for another month as efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19 are extended.

New Zealand: New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern has suggested employers to consider a four-day working week and other flexible working options as a way to boost tourism and help employees address persistent work/life balance issues.

Netherlands: The Netherlands will press ahead with a further easing of lockdown measures in June due to a steadily declining number of infections and hospital admissions, its prime minister Mark Rutte has said.

The Dutch government confirmed that bars and restaurants can start opening for business again next month as the country slowly lifts more restrictions to aid an economy hurting from the coronavirus outbreak.

UK: There will be no “face-to-face lectures” at the University of Cambridge in the 2020/21 academic year, the institution has said.

Rishi Sunak, the UK’s chancellor, said the country is facing “a severe recession the likes of which we haven’t seen”.

Estonia: The Baltic nation of Estonia has started testing one of the world’s first digital immunity passports, according to Back to Work, a coalition of technology firms, medical experts and local government officials which are developing the app.

9:58 am

Coronavirus company news summary – South African drilling delayed – Demand recovers in India

20 May

Total has delayed its offshore drilling programme in South Africa due to Covid-19. Total South Africa has agreed with Odfjell Drilling to keep semi-submersible Deepsea Stavanger idle in Norway. Once the idle period is complete, the rig will move to South Africa to commence drilling operations.

Only four of 12 listed small oil and gas companies in the US returned government aid they received as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic before the deadline, according to a Reuters analysis of US government security filings. The government said returning the money before Monday would lead it to deem the borrowing as being made in good faith. While US president Donald Trump has promised aid to oil and gas companies, no specific fund has yet been set up.

Nearly one-third of available oil and gas in the North Sea could remain untouched due to the recent oil price crash, according to a University of Aberdeen study. Simulations showed 35% of known reserves would be unprofitable with sustained prices of less than $25 a barrel. The study also highlighted that long-term investments may also drop in the region.

Shares of several oil and gas companies in India increased with oil prices as relaxation of the country’s lockdown led to increased demand. Oil India, ONGC, Petronet LNG and Indraprastha Gas stocks gained in recent trading. Globally, oil prices also jumped to their highest in two months, with Brent Crude futures for July delivery rising to $34.81 a barrel.

8:27 am

Trade wars could result from Covid-19 driven economic downturn

20 May

Global trade wars could result from the devastating economic impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Some countries have held China accountable for not controlling the spread of the disease.

Prof. Steve Hanke, Applied Economist Johns Hopkins University, shared an article on the 80% tariff imposed by China on barley exports from Australia for five years.

China is imposing the tariff after Australia became one of 100 countries that called for a probe into the spread of the Covid-19 disease.

Similar actions on other countries are also expected in the near future, with experts predicting that global trade wars are in the making.

Read more

7:30 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases exceed 4.8 million – concerns over accurate reporting in Africa

20 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,810,000, with over 319,000 deaths and 1,790,000 recoveries.

In Europe, the daily confirmed cases continue to decrease in majority of the countries except for Russia which continues to experience an increase in cases.

Brazil in Latin America and the US in North America account for most of the reported daily confirmed cases in that continent.

There are ​approximately 85,000 confirmed cases and 3,000 Covid-19 deaths in Africa.

The relatively low death toll had raised hopes that Africa may be spared worst of this pandemic, until recently. ​

A WHO model estimated that although cases might rise exponentially to at least a quarter of a billion people infected in Africa this year, countries in Africa will have fewer deaths than Europe and the US because of its younger population ​and lower comorbidity prevalence such as diabetes. ​

However, the current reported death toll is unlikely to accurately reflect the true extent of the outbreak’s impact in Africa due to testing limitations.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

3:38 pm

Offshore industry faces skill shortages as experts look to change careers

A recent survey, from data analytics company Broadbean Technology and job board OilandGasjobsearch.com, has shown that the falling price of oil and lack of investment in the oil and gas industry will likely result in a “major skills shortage,” as experts are looking to exit the field.

The companies’ survey has also revealed that 93% of professionals in the industry are out of work, with 42% laid off and 12% furloughed in light of the lockdown measures. The data has also revealed that 36% are looking to change careers after Covid-19, a step which could see the already skills-short oil and gas field facing a significant lack of talent in the long-term.

2:28 pm

Almost 50,000 ‘excess’ deaths in England and Wales, says ONS

19 May

Nearly 50,000 more people than expected have died in England and Wales since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

New figures put out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this morning show an estimated 49,647 “excess” deaths occurred from 14 March to 8 May, with 39,071 of those attributed to Covid-19.

However, the number of weekly deaths, both caused by the virus and overall, is now at its lowest since the start of April.

11:24 am

Economic Update: UNCTAD projects trade decline of 27% – IMF questions future financial stability – UK Jobseekers exceed 2 million

19 May

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a 3% drop in global trade values in the first quarter of 2020, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

The downturn is expected to accelerate in the second quarter, according to UNCTAD forecasts, which project a quarter-on-quarter decline of 27%.

International Monetary Fund researchers have written in a blog that relying on monetary policy alone to respond to shocks from events such as Covid-19 might not be enough and also raise questions about side effects on future financial stability and threats to central bank independence:

“While keeping an eye on debt sustainability concerns over the long term, fiscal policy needs to play a larger role. Putting in place more automatic fiscal responses in advanced economies could help build their resilience to future adverse shocks.

“If rules for fiscal stimulus are well communicated and established before shocks occur, they can help shape expectations and reduce uncertainty, thereby dampening the drop in activity once a negative shock materialises.”

The UK Office for National Statistics said that in April there was a 69.1% month-on-month increase in the number of claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance, taking the level to over 2 million.

10:56 am

Daily Report: Big falls in Covid-19 fatalities in Europe – global figures lag behind

19 May

Western Europe and America might have “passed the peak” – but many countries around the world are still very much fighting a rising tide of Covid 19.

Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Peru, India, Pakistan, and Indonesia have all seen daily death figures rise, when calculated as a seven-day rolling average.

The rise in South America and elsewhere means that global figures are only going down slightly week-on-week, despite big falls in Europe.

In the last seven days, 32,151 people died after being tested positive for the disease, according to the latest data from John’s Hopkins University.

That compares to 34,793 over the previous week.

At least 318,481 people have now died from the disease worldwide.

Covid-19 daily report

9:41 am

International Update: Global Covid cases pass 4.8 million – Trump taking hydroxychloroquine – IMF says full economic recovery unlikely in 2021.

19 May

Global: Global cases pass 4.8 million. There are 4,805,005 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The World Health Organization said on Monday an independent review of the global coronavirus response would begin as soon as possible.

IMF chief says full economic recovery unlikely in 2021.

Studies from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Council of Museums have confirmed that more than 85,000 museums across the world – about 90 percent of all institutions – have shut because of the coronavirus.

US: President Trump has said he has been taking hydroxychloroquine, his doctor released a letter confirming that they had discussed the use of the drug and “concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.

Some areas of New York City have seen death rates nearly 15 times higher than others, according to data released by New York City’s health department, showing the disproportionate toll taken on poorer communities.

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has set aside $11bn in new funding to support coronavirus testing.

US President Donald Trump has again attacked the WHO calling the UN agency a “puppet of China” that has “done a very sad job” in handling the coronavirus.

Brazil: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Brazil stands at 255,368, according to Johns Hopkins University, overtaking the UK to become the third-worst affected country in terms of cases.

Australia: The death toll in Australia has reached 100, following the death of a 93-year-old woman who had been diagnosed with Covid-19.

Qantas Airways Ltd. said putting extra space between passengers on planes could lead to a big increase in airfares and discourage people from flying.

India: The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in India has passed 100,000, currently standing at 100,328 according to Johns Hopkins University figures.

Qatar: Qatar will close all shops and halt all commercial activities, from 19 to 30 May.

Italy: Italy registers lowest deaths since March as bars, restaurants, shops, hairdressers, museums and churches reopen. The country registered 99 deaths and 451 infections on Monday.

9:27 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Lundin cuts supply in line with OPEC – UK trade body forms impact group

19 May

The UK oil and gas trade association OGUK has convened a team of senior industry representatives to look beyond the immediate health and safety issues posed by coronavirus. The team comprises BP regional president Ariel Flores, Aker Solutions head of UK, SVP Europe and Africa, Sian Lloyd-Rees, Wood Asset Solutions CEO Dave Stewart, Shell upstream vice-president Steve Phimister and Chrysaor CEO Phil Kirk. The group will focus on short-to-mid-term projects, in an effort to give work to struggling supply chain industries.

According to a Reuters review of company statements, major oil and gas companies in Europe have made significantly less cuts to green energy projects since the coronavirus outbreak than fossil fuels, compared to their US counterparts. Oil and gas majors such as BP, Shell and Total plan to align with the European Union’s (EU’s) efforts to transition to a lower-carbon economy and away from a century-old oil reliance.

Fuel demand recovery in India gathered pace in the first half this month versus last month as restrictions on transport and industrial activity were partly lifted, Reuters reported as per data from industry sources. Last month, growth of fuel demand in the country plunged to historic lows.

Swedish operator Lundin Energy has slashed its 2020 oil and gas output target after Norwegian authorities decided to reduce production along with OPEC+ producers in an effort to support prices. The company is now targeting daily volumes of 157,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) his year, down from a previous 160,000-170,000 boepd.

7:39 am

Covid-19 lockdown increases online spending to 25% – 100,000 stores could close

19 May

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced retail and food outlets to remain closed to avoid the spread of the disease and comply with the lockdown measures.

Consumers unable to make purchases in physical stores are increasingly opting for online services for a variety of products.

Gregory Daco, Chief US Economist at Oxford Economics, shared a chart on how the recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is shifting consumer spending towards online shopping, which increased by 15% to 25%.

Consumers are purchasing various products online including office supplies, consumer electronics, home furnishings, auto parts etc.

In the article, UBS Group notes that approximately 100,000 retail stores will close over the next five years as online shopping picks up.

Clothing, electronics and home furnishings stores are expected to be most affected by this trend.

Read more

7:13 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: More than 4.7 million cases of Covid-19 worldwide – concerns about rapid spread in Brazil

19 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,720,000, with over 316,000 deaths and 1,750,000 recoveries.

Latin and North America continue to see a rise in daily confirmed cases, whereas in Europe, the daily confirmed cases continue to decrease in majority of the countries.

Russia continues to experience a surge in cases, ranking second in the world behind the US.

India, the second most populous country in the world, has seen rise in daily confirmed cases, which has prompted it to extend the lock-down by two weeks.

This pandemic has also hit indigenous population in Brazil raising concerns about how quickly the disease had spread through remote vulnerable communities with poor access to healthcare facilities.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

4:03 pm

Total announces quantum computing CCS project

Total has announced it is working with a quantum computing lab in Cambridge, UK to improve its carbon capture and storage (CCS) capabilities.

Quantum computing allows some types of operations and calculations to be carried out far faster than conventional computers. Total has said it has partnered with Cambridge Quantum Computing to improve materials which are injected with carbon dioxide during CCS.

The company has said sees promise in adsorbent materials, not to be confused with absorbent materials. Adsorbents attach carbon dioxide to the surface of materials. The company says they could allow it to capture carbon from their industrial processes, those of other industries, or directly from the air.

A statement from the company said: “The quantum algorithms which will be developed in the collaboration between Total and CQC will simulate all the physical and chemical mechanisms in these adsorbents as a function of their size, shape and chemical composition, and therefore make it possible to select the most efficient materials to develop.

“Currently, such simulations are impossible to perform with a conventional supercomputer, which justifies the use of quantum calculations.”

This comes shortly after Total announced it would work with Shell and Equinor on a CCS project on Norway’s west coast.

4:02 pm

Cities And Regions Update: Changes in infections focus as lockdowns ease – Illinois in US and UK North West gain prominence

18 May

The number of new daily Covid-19 cases had continued to drop in the most affected regions in Europe and America, with most new cases recorded in Mexico and some South American countries.

Illinois has overtaken Massachusetts as the third most affected region in the US, with the number of daily new cases there quickly approaching those in New York.

In the UK, where restrictions were slightly eased on May 13, the north west of England has now recorded 23,610 cases of Covid-19 and is set to overtake London as the epicentre of the outbreak with numbers.

Lombardy, the most affected region of Italy, has seen more modest decreases in the number of new cases compared to the rest of the country.

Italy’s shops and cafes reopened on Monday after ten weeks of lockdown.

Madrid has also seen a slight uptick in the proportion of Spain’s new Covid-19 cases.

This chart is currently being updated weekly with the latest figures – although some countries have a slight delay in publishing the very latest case numbers by region or state.

Covid-19 regional comparison chart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11:19 am

Daily Report: Some South American countries seeing a rise in Covid-19 fatalities – worldwide trend is down

18 May

The daily rate of deaths attributed Covid-19 has continued to fall.

Most counties worldwide – including the US and the UK – are now on a downward trajectory of new deaths.

However, some South American countries are struggling to control the outbreak, with Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Ecuador all seeing the number of deaths rise, when looking at a rolling average.

At least 315,185 people have died from Covid-19.

Covid-19 daily report

10:40 am

Unite Scotland launches Save Off-Shore Jobs campaign

Trade Union Unite Scotland has announced the Save Off-Shore Jobs campaign, an initiative to protect jobs and workers’ rights in the offshore sector as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread uncertainty throughout the industry.

The union announced the campaign alongside its parent organisation, the Offshore Co-ordinating Group (OCG), an umbrella group for a number of unions in Scotland. As part of the project, the union will petition the UK Government to invest in the offshore industry, through low-interest loans to operators, and accelerate a plan already in place to maintain North Sea employment at 135,000 jobs by 2035.

The news follows the publication of a report, ‘A crisis behind a crisis’, by the OCG last month, which predicted that up to 3,500 offshore workers could lose their jobs by September this year due to crashing oil prices and uncertainty in industrial sectors following the spread of Covid-19.

10:30 am

Upstream impact of Covid-19 and depressed oil prices on Australian E&P companies

The intrinsic uncertainty surrounding the duration of beleaguered global oil and gas demand and low oil prices has led to varied responses from exploration and production (E&P) companies in Australia for coping with the current economic climate.

The analysis of the impact on the top E&P companies in Australia reveals that domestically focused operators are positioned at the lowest risk to the short-term impact of Covid-19 and weakened oil prices, thanks to shelter from external market dynamics and robust reserve lives.

Click here to read the full article.

9:46 am

International Update: Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Brazil – fatalities fall in Europe – US freeze on WHO payments continues

18 May

Global: There are 4,716,513 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide. At least 315,187 people have died over the course of the pandemic so far.

Sunday has seen lower death tolls reported in the UK, Spain and Italy. The UK’s daily coronavirus death toll was the lowest since lockdown began, with 170 deaths recorded. Meanwhile, Spain has recorded its lowest single-day death toll in two months. Italy on Sunday recorded its lowest daily toll, 145, since lockdown was declared.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is to raise the question of Taiwan’s participation as an observer at the World Health Assembly (WHA), which opens virtually on Monday, before one of its committees.

Brazil: In Brazil, the BBC reports that the mayor of São Paulo, the country’s largest city, has warned that hospitals have reached 90% capacity and are “near collapse”: they could run out of space in just two weeks’ time, he said.

Confirmed Covid-19 cases in Brazil have surpassed the total in Italy, with the country announcing nearly 15,000 new infections on Saturday. This takes Brazil’s total to more than 230,000, the fourth-largest confirmed caseload after the US, Russia and the UK.

US: US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Sunday that US unemployment could hit 25%, but expressed optimism Sunday that the economy can begin to recover from a devastating recession in the second half of the year, assuming the coronavirus doesn’t erupt in a second wave.

President Donald Trump said US payments to the World Health Organization that he froze last month may return at 10% of the existing level. Trump said the cut is one of the numerous options he’s considering. A cut to 10% would match “much lower China payments,” Trump said in a tweet responding to broadcaster Lou Dobbs. “Have not made final decision. All funds are frozen,” Trump said.

Japan: Japan dived into its first recession since 2015, according to official data Monday, with the world’s third-largest economy contracting by 0.9% in the first quarter as it wrestles with the fallout from the coronavirus.

South Africa: South Africa on Sunday reported 1,160 new coronavirus infections, the highest daily number since the first case was recorded in March, AFP reports.

India: India has extended a nearly two-month-old lockdown by another two weeks with Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and other key regions still fighting to control the rising curve of coronavirus infections.

Nigeria: Nigeria has seized a British plane for defying a travel ban imposed as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the aviation minister said Sunday.

Qatar: Qatar has begun enforcing the world’s toughest penalties of up to three years’ in prison for failing to wear masks in public, in a country with one of the highest coronavirus infection rates.

Italy: Italy’s shops, restaurants and hair salons have been preparing to reopen on Monday, as the government further eases the lockdown.

China: The city of Wuhan conducted 222,675 nucleic acid tests on 16 May, the local health authority said, nearly doubling from a day earlier.

Russia: The growth of new coronavirus cases in Russia is stabilising, a top health official has said, as the daily tally fell under 10,000 for the third time this week.

Spain: Spain recorded 102 coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours from 138 deaths reported on Friday, according to data from the Health Ministry. New infections increased by 539 to 230,698, compared to 549 the previous day.

Thailand: The ban on international commercial flights to Thailand that was supposed to end on May 31 will be extended for another month, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand said.

 

9:10 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Massive outbreak offshore Kazakhstan – Rosneft makes large losses

18 May

Hundreds of people have tested positive for Covid-19 in an oilfield in Kazakhstan, AFP has reported. Local health officials have said 401 workers in the Tengiz oil field have tested positive for the disease. However, core operations including production continue at the field, which accounts for nearly one-third of Kazakhstan’s total output.

Russian oil and gas company Rosneft has reported a loss of $2.1bn in the first quarter of this year as the Covid-19 pandemic reduces global petroleum demand. The company also plans to slash its investment this year by nearly $2.7bn or 21%. Rosneft accounts for nearly 40% of Russia’s total oil production, according to Reuters.

Natural gas consumption in India has started recovering as lockdown-related restrictions ease. Economic and industrial activity is gradually picking up pace in areas with few coronavirus cases. Sources told Reuters that state oil refiners have accelerated crude processing due to an increase in fuel demand.

According to the energy services firm Baker Hughes, the number of oil and gas rigs in the US dropped by 35 to a record low of 339 in the week to 15 May. This follows the previous all-time low in the week before, with a count of 374. Most producers have cut drilling operations due to the low price and demand for oil.

6:55 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Covid-19 cases still rising in the Americas – first incidents recorded in Bangladesh refugee camps

18 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,444,000, with over 302,000 deaths and 1,588,000 recoveries.

In Europe, the daily confirmed cases continue to decrease, while Latin America and North America continue to see a rise in daily cases.

In Asia, daily cases continue to decrease in the majority of countries, while Russia continues to experience a surge in cases, ranking second in the world behind the US.

In Bangladesh, the first cases of coronavirus were confirmed in crowded refugee camps.

Approximately one million refugees have taken shelter, raising concerns about how quickly the disease can spread through vulnerable communities.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

2:13 pm

ADNOC says that production cuts are having a positive impact

The UAE minister of state and group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, has said that the company’s shrinking of production and voluntary cuts, made in the company in a response to the Covid-19 crisis, have started to show a positive impact, as oil markets are expected to rebalance over time.

Dr. Al Jaber said: “When it comes to oil, there are signs that the market has tightened in recent weeks. The OPEC-plus agreement, voluntary cuts outside OPEC-plus plus, and production shut-ins are working together to start to rebalance the market. This will take time. As economies begin to open up, demand will follow, but the path to the next normal is not a straight line.”

1:56 pm

Covid-19 responsible for more than 27% of UK care home deaths during March and April – deaths more than double same period 2019

15 May

Nearly 46,000 residents of care homes in England and Wales lost their lives between the start of the coronavirus pandemic and 1 May.

Between 2 March and 1 May more than 27% of care home deaths, some 12,526, are known to have involved Covid-19, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today.

The ONS recorded a total of 45,899 deaths among care home residents between 2 March and 1 May  – more than twice as many as the 22,573 who died during the same period in 2019.

It means that even after the 12,526 known Covid-19 cases are accounted for, there have still been 10,800 “extra”, unexplained deaths which may be directly or indirectly related to the virus, too.

12:11 pm

Economic Forecast: German economy faces biggest slump since WW2 – US employment shows largest decline since 1948

15 May

Deutsche Bank says the Covid-19 pandemic and, in particular, lockdown measures will push the German economy into its biggest slump since WW2. Their report suggests that the Covid-19 pandemic hits German labour market differently than the Global Financial Market Crisis of 2009.

The US Bureau of Labour Statistics said the unemployment rate increased 10.3 percentage points to 14.7 percent in April.

“The employment–population ratio, at 51.3 percent, dropped by 8.7 percentage points over the month. This is the lowest ratio and largest over-the-month decline in the history of the data back to January 1948.”

HSBC has said the near-term global inflation outlook is clear – it is heading even lower. HSBC global chief economist Janet Henry wrote in a blog:

“The collapse in oil prices and discounting by companies keen to boost sales should more than offset higher food prices to turn Eurozone and US inflation negative this summer.”

“But if businesses fail – including restaurants or even airlines – the reduced competition could see the survivors raise prices over the next year or two.

“Supply-chain disruptions may also push up prices. So after hitting new lows by mid-2020, headline inflation will be notably higher in 12 to 15 months as demand increases and oil recovers.”

 

 

11:52 am

Aramco asks onshore LTA bidders for revised rates

Saudi Aramco has asked contractors bidding to be part of its proposed group of Long-Term Agreement (LTA) contractors for onshore projects to revise their bid rates, according to sources. Bidders have ‘until end of next week’ to submit revised offers, one source said, implying the submission deadline is 21 May.

Gulf national oil companies (NOCs) have been negotiating with their wider supply chain for price discounts and rate revisions in an effort to reduce their operating costs during the ongoing oil and gas industry downturn, brought about by low oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic.

To read more, please click here.

11:45 am

Equinor AGM sees shareholders reject Paris-aligned emissions proposal

At it’s annual general meeting, Equinor shareholders voted down a resolution to align the company’s emissions targets with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The company’s majority stakeholder is the Norwegian government. While Equinor has made the largest move toward renewable energy of any major European operator, its emissions targets are still not tied to absolute carbon neutrality.

According to climate-focused investor group Follow This, around 27% of the non-government voters backed the resolution, increasing from 12% in 2019. However, this movement is largely symbolic because of the Norwegian government’s control.

Other propositions ranged from phasing out exploration over two years to stopping it immediately, as well as stopping all offshore operations outside of Norway. All of these were rejected, with the board saying their current strategy already supported “a balanced transition to low carbon society”.

10:39 am

Daily Report: Covid-19 deaths approach 303,000 – UK fatalities fall as US and Italy rise

15 May

At least 302,418 people have died from Covid-19 so far, according to the latest statistics published by Johns Hopkins University.

The figures are likely to be an undercount, as do not include people who have died without being tested for the disease.

The grim milestone means that the epidemic has now overtaken the 1812 Russian typhus outbreak and the 1812–1819 Ottoman plague in terms of the raw number of people killed.

Deaths appear to be falling in the UK, although the US and Italy have both seen a slight uptick in the number of fatalities over the last two days.

Covid-19 daily report

10:18 am

TransGlobe negotiating lower operating costs

TransGlobe Energy has initiated discussions with Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) to reduce operating expenditure in Egypt’s Eastern Desert region and is considering ceasing all production from its Western Desert concession, according to results published by the company for the first three months of the year.

The move comes amid low global oil prices and after a development well drilled at West Bakr failed to fulfil some of its objectives.

To read more, please click here.

9:28 am

International Update: Covid-19 infections near 4.5 million – Bolsonaro wants lockdown lift as Brazil records almost 14,000 cases in a day

15 May

Global: The global toll from Covid-19 has passed 300,000, with nearly 4.5 million people infected. According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, at least 302,452 people have now died as a result of the outbreak. The institution says it has counted 4,443,597 confirmed cases worldwide.

The health ministers of South Korea, China and Japan will gather by video conference to discuss ways to work together in the global campaign against the novel coronavirus, South Korean officials said.

A WHO modelling study indicates the coronavirus could kill 150,000 people in Africa and infect 231 million people in a year unless urgent action is taken.

EU: A vaccine for coronavirus must be available to all countries, the EU has insisted, after the British chief executive of French drugs company Sanofi said it was reserving the first shipments of its vaccine for the US.

The European commission has suspended the delivery of  ten million face masks from China after two countries complained about the poor quality of the batches they received, the Associated Press reports.

Brazil: Brazil registered a daily record 13,944 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday as President Jair Bolsonaro urged business leaders to push for lifting lockdown orders in the country’s financial center, Sao Paulo.

US: President Donald Trump signalled a further deterioration of his relationship with China over the novel coronavirus, saying he has no interest in speaking to President Xi Jinping right now and going so far as to suggest he could even cut ties with the world’s second largest economy.

New guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advising states on how to reopen bars, restaurants and workplaces was posted on Thursday. It outlines a series of steps workplaces and restaurants should take to keep employees and customers safe before they reopen, including encouraging hand-washing, social distancing and how to check for symptoms of potential Covid-19 cases.

US House Democrats will push aside more than 200 years of precedent and vote on Friday to let lawmakers serve as proxies for colleagues quarantined or otherwise stuck at home during the pandemic.

The Trump administration is preparing an executive order that would require certain essential drugs and medical treatments for a variety of conditions be made in the US.

Delta Air Lines Inc. will retire all 18 of its biggest aircraft, the Boeing 777, by year-end and is warning pilots of massive overstaffing amid the collapse in travel demand caused by the pandemic.

UK: British Airways owner IAG SA said it intends to go ahead with plans to cut up to 12,000 jobs, while Chief Executive Officer Willie Walsh castigated the government’s handling of the crisis.

Slovenia: The Slovenian government is calling an official end to its coronavirus epidemic, becoming the first European country to do so after authorities confirmed less than seven new coronavirus cases each day for the past two weeks.

Australia: Australia’s most populous state New South Wales (NSW) is reopening restaurants, cafes and bars after a two-month shutdown, under the condition they limit customers to ten at any one time.

9:23 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Record low Iranian oil extraction – Prosafe fleet usage halved

15 May

SBM Offshore has said it has implemented several measures to reduce the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its operations. These include cutting its aggregate staff and contractor workforce by nearly 300. It has also stopped hiring, and suspended or postponed several internal programmes.

Prosafe, an operator of offshore accommodation vessels, has announced only 32.7% of its total fleet working time was used in the first quarter of 2020. This figure is a sharp decline from the 62.5% registered in the same three-month period last year. The company also its is significantly uncertain of the materialisation of its 2020 order backlog.

Iran’s oil exports have dropped to a record low, hit by Covid-19 and US sanctions. Last month, oil exports averaged 70,000 barrels per day, falling from 287,000 bpd in March, reported Reuters citing a Kpler report. This drop comes as a result of a drop in Chinese purchases.

UK-based oil and gas company TechnipFMC has joined Covid-19 relief efforts in India. Its local teams have started working with communities to provide essential supplies. The company’s corporate social responsibility team joined multiple initiatives to distribute face masks, soap and food kits.

7:48 am

US unemployment could hit 25% say experts

15 May

The latest report from the US Labour Department pegs the unemployment rate at more than 20%.

Although new unemployment claims have slowed down, the unemployment rate is still one of the highest since the Great Recession.

Timothy McBride, Bernard Becker Professor at Washington University, tweeted on the US Labour Department’s latest report on unemployment claims.

The report notes that an additional 2.98 million claims were filed over the last two months bringing the total unemployment claims to 36.5 million.

McBride noted that the unemployment rate is expected to be more than 20% or even 25% by the time the next official report is released.

Read more

6:59 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Covid-19 on the rise in Latin America – total lockdown in Chile’s capital

15 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,364,000, with over 297,000 deaths and 1,560,000 recoveries.

In Latin America, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Chile will be countries to watch as each continues to experience a record number of daily cases or deaths.

To date, the daily mortality reached all-time highs in Brazil, Mexico, and Peru.

Additionally, Brazil set a record high with 11,385 new daily cases, and surpassing France’s total cases.

In Chile, a significant spike of more than 60% increase in daily new cases triggered a total lockdown of Santiago, the nation’s capital.

In China, Wuhan launched its mass testing drive in response to a resurgence of cases observed over the weekend.

While some residents are supportive of this initiative, others are concerned over further spreading the infection while waiting in long lines.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

3:07 pm

Covid-19 driven decline in the jobs market may be slowing

14 May

The Coronavirus crash in the jobs market appears to be starting to taper off in several badly hit industries.

Figures from data analytics firm GlobalData shows that while the jobs market has contracted since 1 March, in recent weeks the number of available jobs remained flat in the hardest hit sectors.

All of the sectors tracked have seen jobs shrink – but some have escaped more lightly than others.

The statistics show that the number of travel and tourism jobs available for application has fallen to a fifth of what it was on 1 March.

However, jobs in the oil and gas industry have dropped just over 30% compared to 1 March.

Covid-19 has had a major, ongoing economic impact across the globe; but that impact is not uniform across different industries.

While some economic sectors have seen business rapidly decline, others have – to date – been more stable. Some have even seen an increase in demand.

This chart aims to give a broad overview of which sectors are suffering the most since the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic.

It uses exclusive dynamic intelligence provided by GlobalData to track the number of jobs open for applications, across the world, across 19 economic sectors.

The summary chart shows the six which have seen the biggest percentage drop in these “active” jobs.

Economic sector impact chart

11:53 am

Premier Oil announces fall in production amid Covid-19

British oil and gas firm Premier Oil has announced a financial and operational update, with delayed production and uncertain finances highlighting the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country’s oil and gas industry.

The company announced that production had reached an average of 70,100 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) since the start of the year, down from its 2019 annual production of 78,400 boepd, and the 85,900 boepd produced in the same period last year. Premier also announced delays at its Tolmount projects, with the main facility, a 25,000 boepd project, now scheduled to produce its first gas in the second quarter of 2021, while a decision is expected to be made on the proposed Tolmount East project by the end of this year.

Read more about the impacts of Covid-19 on the company here.

11:25 am

Somalian licensing round launches online

The first offshore licensing round for Somalia has launched online. Despite coronavirus and disputes with state governments, the national government is proceeding with plans for extraction licensing.

The first auction will take place in August, licensing rights across seven blocks.

Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil have already secured a three-decade lease on some areas via a joint venture.

Minister for Petroleum and Mineral Resources Abdirashid Mohamed Ahmed said he hoped offshore development would give the country a steady source of revenue.

He said: “The opportunities for the international exploration and development majors are enormous. Somalia is committed to attracting investment and promoting partnership and business in all segments of the oil and gas industry value chain.”

Post Online Media reported the minister as saying the licensing would be transparent and fair, with the country using the revenue to construct a dynamic and sustainable economy.

10:48 am

Daily Report: Global Covid-19 deaths rise by more than 5,000 – weekly trend is down

14 May

The number of deaths from Covid-19 around the world rose to by 5,255 yesterday to a total of 297,197.

There have been 33,342 deaths over the last seven days – down slightly from 36,166 the previous week.

Covid-19 daily report

10:10 am

Economic Forecast: Covid-19 to slash global economic output by $8.5trn – 305 million full time jobs could be lost in Q2

14 May

Covid-19 is to slash global economic output by $8.5 trillion over next two years, wiping out nearly all gains of the previous four years according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects report.

The report highlights the pandemic could foster a new normal, fundamentally reshaping human interactions, inter-dependence, trade and globalization, while accelerating digitalization and automation.

A rapid surge in economic activities online will likely eliminate many existing jobs, while creating new jobs in the digital economy.

The United Nations’s International Labour Organization predicts 1.6bn informal economy workers could suffer “massive damage” to their livelihoods.

In the second quarter of 2020, Covid-19 may cost the equivalent of 305 million full-time jobs.

Current G7 jobless totals vary widely, from 30 million in the United States to 1.76 million in Japan.

McKinsey believe that Europe’s CEOs will have to draw on the region’s spirit of innovation to recover post Covid-19.

However, the region with its vast innovation and ideas has seen companies struggling to monetise and commercialise ideas:

“A lot of good ideas that originated in Europe, in areas such as big data, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI), for example, are often not scaled at all or adopted and brought to market by foreign investors.”

McKinsey also add that: “No European company established in the past 30 years has yet joined the ranks of the world’s top 100 companies by market capitalization, compared with three in China and seven in the United States.

“SAP, established in 1972, was the last European entrant to the global top 100, and all top 100 European companies are more than 30 years old.”

 

9:39 am

Bakken shale wells shut amid weak oil price climate

GlobalData forecasts Bakken production to fall through 2020. However, it is expected to remain above one million barrels of oil equivalent per day (mmboed) by the end of 2020.

The rig count has declined steeply since early 2020 and was further aggravated by the economic slowdown due to Covid-19 but is forecast to remain at an average of 13 counts in the second half of 2020 as the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) price starts to improve.

Click here to read the full article.

9:28 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 deaths near 300,000 – WHO warns virus could become endemic

14 May

Global: The number of lives lost worldwide in the coronavirus pandemic is nearing 300,000, according to Johns Hopkins University figures, with 297,197 deaths reported.

The coronavirus that causes Covid-19 could become endemic like HIV, the World Health Organization has said, warning against any attempt to predict how long it would keep circulating and calling for a “massive effort” to counter it.

The United Nations is forecasting that the coronavirus pandemic will shrink the world economy by 3.2 percent this year, the sharpest contraction since the Great Depression in the 1930s, pushing an estimated 34.3 million people into extreme poverty mostly in Africa.

US: A divided Wisconsin Supreme Court decided that an unelected state agency head’s emergency order shutting down the state because of the Covid-19 pandemic is not enforceable.

President Donald Trump plans to name Moncef Slaoui, the former head of GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s vaccines division, and Gustave Perna, a four-star US general, to lead a Manhattan Project-style effort to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, two people familiar with the matter said.

Canada and the US appear likely to extend a ban on non-essential travel until June 21 amid the pandemic, a Canadian government source and a top US official told Reuters.

Russia: The city of Moscow said on Wednesday it had ascribed the deaths of more than 60% of coronavirus patients in April to other causes as it defended what it said was the superior way it and Russia counted the number of people killed by the novel virus. At 242,271, Russia has the second-highest number of confirmed cases in the world after the United States.

UK: Roche Holding AG’s coronavirus antibody test was cleared by a UK health authority, a boost to Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he seeks ways to gradually relax lockdown restrictions.

The UK government’s coronavirus aid program for self-employed people received more than £340 million ($416 million) of claims in its first morning of operation.

Italy: Doctors in Italy have reported the first clear evidence of a link between Covid-19 and a rare but serious inflammatory disorder that has required some children to undergo life-saving treatment in intensive care units.

Italy’s government approved a much-delayed €55 billion ($60 billion) stimulus package to rescue an economy crippled by a two-month nationwide lockdown, promising a boost in liquidity for businesses and aid for families in need.

China: Hong Kong authorities are going to screen hundreds of families, local media is reporting, after its 23-day run of no local infections was broken with the diagnosis of Covid-19 in a 66-year-old woman with no recent travel history, and her five-year-old granddaughter.

Japan: Japan was expected to lift a state of emergency across a large part of the country on Thursday, according to Reuters, but Tokyo will remain under restrictions until there is a convincing containment of the coronavirus.

Japanese company Takeda Pharmaceutical could start a clinical trial as early as July for a potential treatment of Covid-19 that is based on antibodies from recovered patients’ blood, company executives said.

Qatar: The Qatari government ordered all citizens to wear masks when they step outside for any reason beginning 17 May, state-run QNA reported. People who violate the order will be subjected to either imprisonment of up to three years, or a fine of as much as 200,000 riyals ($55,000) or both, according to the report.

New Zealand: New Zealand’s finance minister Grant Robertson has unveiled an unprecedented NZ$50bn fund to save jobs and reduce unemployment to pre-coronavirus levels within two years.

Australia: Australia posted its biggest ever monthly rise in unemployment on Thursday because of coronavirus lockdown measures, even as the country begins to gradually ease those social distancing rules.

9:28 am

Coronavirus company news summary – New exploration opens in Australia – Falklands project suspended

14 May

The Government of Queensland in Australia has opened an additional 6700km2 area for gas exploration. The move is an effort to revive the state economy as part of the impact of Covid-19. The government opened 12 prospective parcels of land for tender across the Bowen and Surat basins, between Blackwater and Goondiwindi.

Premier Oil has suspended its Sea Lion project in the Falkland Islands, off the southern coast of South America. In a statement the company said it aims to reduce costs due to the current downturn. It also postponed drilling programmes in prospective exploration acreage indefinitely. The company has a capital liquidity of around $160m of cash, with $330m of undrawn facilities.

The annual net loss of UAE-based oil rig construction business Lamprell more than doubled in 2019 to $183.5m. In 2018, the company reported a net loss of $70.7m. Lamprell has also withdrawn its full-year 2020 revenue guidance and announced it has taken a series of measures to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on its business.

Shelf Drilling has registered a net loss of $184.9m in the first quarter of this year after it booked a non-cash impairment charge of $188m on long-lived assets. The company’s cash and cash equivalents balance stood at $69m at the end of March. Shelf Drilling’s statement added that it has taken steps to preserve liquidity.

7:52 am

US sees slowdown in Covid-19 driven job losses among lower paid

14 May

The US has already announced more than $2.2tn in stimulus packages to protect the economy from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. As unemployment rates continue to rise, additional stimulus packages may be needed even if they are costly and increase debt.

Paul Krugman, an economist and Nobel laureate, tweeted an article on the slowdown in unemployment rate due to Covid-19 in the US.

The article is based on surveys conducted by Civis Analytics, which shows that women, part-time workers and workers earning more than $100,000 are still facing unemployment.

However, the unemployment rate among full-time employees, men and workers earning less than $50,000 was falling by mid-to-late April.

Read more

7:23 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: New clusters of Covid-19 as lockdowns ease – confirmed cases surge in Brazil

14 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,278,000, with more than 292,000 deaths and 1,502,000 recoveries.

As nations continue to gradually lift lockdown measures, new clusters emerge in regions once commended for their mitigation efforts. These include South Korea, Wuhan, China, and Singapore.

In South Korea, more than 100 new cases were reported over the weekend in a popular Seoul nightlife district.

In Wuhan, six new cases were confirmed over the weekend after more than a month, prompting the city to order testing for all residents.

Meanwhile, in Singapore, more than 23,000 cases were linked to migrant worker dormitories at the end of April.

Brazil continues to experience a surge in confirmed cases, with 178,214 cases which surpass the 173,289 cases in Germany, and draw closer to the 178,349 cases in France.

Additionally, Brazil records its highest death toll to date with 881 confirmed deaths.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

5:32 pm

Norway’s $1tn oil fund withdraws support of big oil operators

Norway’s sovereign oil fund, the largest of its kind in the world, has sold out of some of the biggest firms working with commodities and utilities, including Glencore, Anglo American, and RWE, after a breach of the fund’s coal use guidelines.

In addition, the fund also sold out of Brazilian miner Vale because of “severe environmental damage”, caused by a dam burst. It also placed BHP, along with utilities Enel, Uniper, and Vistra Energy on an observation list over their use of coal.

The fund owns on average of 1.5% of every listed company in the world.

4:41 pm

OGUK releases new guidelines for operators of North Sea assets

OGUK, the British oil and gas trade association, published new guidelines today focused on unlocking brownfield resource opportunities and companies getting the best possible output from their existing North Sea assets amid Covid-19.

The guidelines, written by the Unlocking Investment workgroup, a subset of the MER Asset Stewardship Taskforce, aim to help operators obtain good practice when identifying, ranking, approving, and carrying out opportunities to optimise production in areas such as well and reservoir reviews, surveillance and budget assigning. They also work to ensure assets on the UK Continental Shelf deliver efficient reserves recovery.

Click here for the full article

2:38 pm

OPEC reports shows production doubles expected demand

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has revised downwards its expectation of the world’s oil consumption this year.

In its monthly report on the state of oil markets, it said demand for Q2 2020 would be 16.77 million barrels per day. This is around half of the 30.41 millions pumped on an average day in April.

Earlier today, Saudi Arabia made a joint statement with Russian officials, saying the countries had faith in the recovery of oil.

Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait cut their production levels, on top of cuts already agreed as part of OPEC.

11:18 am

Economic Forecast: Downturn ‘sharper but shorter’ than 2008, says Morgan Stanley – IMF warns of catastrophic consequences in sub-Saharan Africa

13 May

Morgan Stanley Chief Economist and Global Head of Economics Research Chetan Ahya said this economic downturn will be sharper—but shorter—than the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) that began in 2008.

His view is based on the cause of the downturn and that, “this recession has prompted the most coordinated and aggressive monetary and fiscal easing that we have witnessed in modern times”.

“By our estimates, global economic contraction will trough at 7.5% in the second quarter of this year (far worse than the 2.4% contraction in the first quarter of 2009), while output—for the world as a whole and developed markets—will return to prerecession levels in 4 and 8 quarters, respectively, compared with 6 and 14 quarters after the GFC.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that a failure to contain the spread of the virus in sub-Saharan Africa will have catastrophic economic, health and humanitarian consequences.

According to the latest Regional Economic Outlook by the IMF the sub-Saharan Africa economy will contract by 1.6 percent this year; the worst reading on record.

Economies across the regions of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) may contract on average by 3.5% this year, because of the impact of the coronavirus, with a rebound of 4.8% possible in 2021.

However, in its latest Regional Economic Prospects report, the EBRD warned that these projections are subject to “unprecedented uncertainty”.

10:17 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Saudi and Japanese profits down – African producers given guidance on risks

13 May

Oil giant Saudi Aramco has reported a 25% fall in net profit in the first quarter of this year amid the Covid-19 pandemic. In the three months to March, the company posted a net income of $16.7bn, while cash flow from operating activities dropped from $24.5bn a year ago to $22.4bn.

Japanese oil and gas company Inpex has cut its annual net profit forecast by nearly 93% due to the fall in oil prices. The company revised its net profit to $93m for this calendar year, against its previous estimate of $1.35bn. Inpex also said in a statement it has started reassessing all its assets and may book impairment losses, subject to market conditions.

Modec, which supplies and operates floating platforms, has said its costs are anticipated to increase in the first quarter due to provisions made in response to Covid-19. The company said it has invested around $84m (JPY 9bn) in Covid-19 prevention efforts. Modec expects to post an operating profit of around $32.7m (JPY 3.5bn) in the first quarter, excluding the impact of the disease.

African Energy Chamber (AEC), which represents the petroleum industry in the continent, issued advisory guidelines to ensure the safety of oil workers during this pandemic. The move aims to enable the energy sector to work safely and reduce contagion risks.

9:59 am

Covid-19 Daily Report: Deaths from Covid-19 continue to fall in most countries with serious outbreaks – US still seeing highest number

13 May

Daily new deaths from Covid-19 continue to fall in most countries with the largest outbreaks.

Worldwide, the US is continuing to see the highest number of new deaths from Covid-19, followed by the UK, however, in both countries the figure is falling.

Brazil is currently seeing the most rapid spread of the disease, with 808 new deaths yesterday, up from 571 the week before.

Although the raw number of deaths in many countries rose yesterday compared to Monday, that is likely to do with the “weekend effect” – a lag in data collection over the weekend.

At least 291,942 people have now died from the disease worldwide.

Covid-19 daily report

9:48 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 4.25 million – NIAID director warns US of ‘serious consequences’ if lockdown eased too soon

13 May

Global: According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, at least 4,261,955 people around the world are known to have contracted the virus, while at least 291,964 have died since the pandemic began.

The World Health Organization says some treatments appear to be limiting the severity or length of suffering caused by Covid-19 and that it is focusing on learning more about four or five of the most promising ones.

US: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr Anthony Fauci has warned of serious consequences if US states reopen before building capacity to deal with new Covid-19 outbreaks.

US Republican senators proposed legislation on Tuesday that would empower President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on China if Beijing does not give a “full accounting” for the coronavirus outbreak.

Twitter will allow its employees to work from home “forever”, chief executive officer Jack Dorsey said in a company-wide email Tuesday.

Brazil: Brazil reported a new record for coronavirus deaths as Latin America’s largest economy becomes the new global hotspot for the pandemic. The country reported a record 881 Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours on Tuesday, its health ministry said, taking its total to 12,400.

China: The Chinese city of Wuhan, the original centre of the pandemic, plans to test all 11 million residents for the coronavirus, according to local media.

China’s National Health Commission has confirmed seven new cases of coronavirus, six of them in the northeastern province of Jilin where the city of Shulan increased its risk level from medium to high at the weekend.

India: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a stimulus package for labourers and small businesses on Tuesday worth about 10% of India’s GDP.

Gilead Sciences Inc. is licensing its potential Covid-19 treatment, remdesivir, to five generic drug manufacturers in India and Pakistan to expedite supply chain development and help meet anticipated demand.

Iceland: Iceland will test all airline passengers arriving at Keflavik Airport for coronavirus by June 15, with those resulting negative spared a mandatory two-week quarantine, the government said Tuesday.

8:15 am

Covid-19 driving a fall in consumer price index that could lead to recession, say economists

13 May

The consumer price index (CPI) continues to fall as the Covid-19 pandemic has forced businesses to shutdown and people to remain under lockdown.

The consumer spending has drastically reduced amid this environment with the threat of rising inflation or even deflation.

Pedro da Costa, a journalist, shared an article on the decline in consumer prices in the US. The consumer price index (CPI) dropped 0.8% in April after falling 0.4% in March, which is biggest decline since December 2008 when the country was going through recession.

The article is based on a report from the Labour Department that showed a record decline in prices in April raising the possibility of deflation.

 

Read more

7:16 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Russia second highest in confirmed Covid-19 cases – India eases lockdown as infections rise

13 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,194,000, with over 286,000 deaths and 1,464,000 recoveries.

Russia now leads the Eurasian region with over 232,000 confirmed cases, ranking second highest in the world following the US.

Of the top ten most affected countries outside of the US and Russia, the majority are experiencing a decrease in daily cases, with the exception of Brazil and Iran, with over 169,000 and 109,000 cases, respectively.

Meanwhile, India eases lockdown restrictions by restarting its train network, one of the world’s largest in the world, despite rising infections.

While passengers will wear masks, the sheer number of passengers and tight quarters is concerning; more than 54,000 people have made reservations

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

2:50 pm

Macroeconomic Forecast: GDP forecasts revised downwards again – Italy nears double digit decline

12 May

The GDP growth forecast for European countries and the US have been revised downwards yet again — with estimates for France seeing the biggest drop.

Italy remains the country likely to take the biggest hit according to this week’s GlobalData forecasts, with the country’s economy expected to shrink by 9.4% during 2020.

France now expected to see a 8.4% shrinkage of GDP over the year, compared to last week’s estimate of 7.4%.

The UK economy is expected to shrink by 7.6% this year, Germany’s by 6.7% and that of the US by 5.3%.

Both China and India continue to register modest estimated positive growths of 0.8% and 1% respectively.

Stock markets have seen some positive growth from last week in all markets except India.

 

Covid-19 macroeconomic dashboard

We are using exclusive dynamic figures provided by GlobalData analysts to track key economic indicators in major world economies hit by Covid-19. Deaths from the virus are plotted alongside the indexed performance of each country’s major stock exchange. Figures are tracked daily from the March 1, 2020.

Covid-19 macroeconomic dashboard

2:44 pm

Saudi Aramco profits fall 25% in first quarter

Saudi Aramco, “the world’s most valued company”, has seen profits fall by a quarter in the first three months of 2020.

Despite taking out a $10bn loan from a collection of banks, and being told by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Energy to make further cuts to production, the company is still paying out more than $13bn in dividends for its performance in Q4 2019. Later this year, it plans to pay out more than $18bn for Q1 2020.

The company’s net income stood at $16.4bn in the year to March.

President and CEO Amin H. Nasser said: “We have delivered solid earnings with robust free cash flow, despite weak energy demand and low oil prices. We remain committed to the safety of our people while delivering on our long-term value creation strategy for all of our shareholders.

“During the first quarter, we took steps to further optimize our planned 2020 capital spending and identified opportunities to improve operational productivity.”

12:43 pm

Economic Forecast: Covid-19 pandemic could push 40-60 million into extreme poverty

12 May

The World Bank predicts an increase in poverty globally for the first time since 1998 due to the current pandemic. They said that the pandemic is pushing about 40-60 million people into extreme poverty, with their best estimate being 49 million.

The modelling also predicts that the share of the world’s population living on less than $1.90 per day—is projected to increase from 8.2% in 2019 to 8.6% in 2020, or from 632 million people to 665 million people.

McKinsey estimates that in the weeks from 6 April to 19 May around 22 percent of the United Kingdom’s working-age population, or nine million people, had been furloughed.

At that same time less than 1 percent of businesses reported ceasing to trade permanently or having laid off people.

McKinsey states: “The knock-on consequences of the lockdown are anticipated to result in significant job losses down the road. Businesses’ ability to continue to employ and pay workers might be particularly precarious when government support starts to be withdrawn.”

10:56 am

Covid-19 Daily Report: Global mortality rate trending down – fears that trend could be halted as lockdowns ease

12 May

The number of Covid-19 cases continues to fall with the number of deaths seeing an expected post-weekend slight uptick on Monday, our coronavirus tracker shows.

The total number of cases is now at 4,117,502, with the number of confirmed Covid-19 deaths now at 286,330.

The US continues to have the biggest share of those, recording 1,156 deaths yesterday.

That’s double the number of deaths in the UK, Spain and France combined.

The mortality rate in all the countries in our tracker is generally trending downwards.

However, as lockdowns are eased in some capacity across the world, some fear we could see the numbers climb back up.

 

Covid-19 daily report

10:11 am

International Update: Work on vaccines accelerating – Trump declares victory – New York Covid-19 deaths may be 5,000 higher than official figures

12 May

Global: The global confirmed death toll exceeds 285,000. The number of people known to have died since the pandemic began has reached at least 286,330, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. They say at least 4,177,584 people are known to have been infected.

The World Health Organization says “extreme vigilance” is needed as countries begin to exit lockdowns imposed to curb the virus’ spread.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and the International Council of Nurses are calling on governments to commit to ensuring the protection and safety of nurses and other health workers, especially in resource-poor, disaster and conflict settings.

The World Health Organization chief says there are approximately seven or eight “top” candidates for a vaccine to combat the coronavirus and work on them is being accelerated.

US: New York City’s death toll may be 5,000 higher than official toll. Between 11 March and 2 May, about 24,000 more people died in the city than researchers would ordinarily expect during that time period, a report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

President Trump declared victory over the “invisible enemy” as deaths surpassed 80,000 in the US. “We have met the moment and we have prevailed,” Trump, flanked by ventilators and testing supplies, said during a briefing in the White House Rose Garden on Monday.

The White House ordered everyone entering the West Wing to wear a face mask after Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary tested positive for the coronavirus last week.

The Trump administration plans to distribute $11 billion to states for coronavirus testing, according to senior administration officials.

China: China reports no new domestic cases after spike on weekend. China reported zero new domestic coronavirus infections on Tuesday, after two consecutive days of double-digit increases fuelled fears of a second wave of infections.

Australia: Easing restrictions to boost Australian economy by US$6bn a month. Once Australia removes most social distancing restrictions by July, its economy will be boosted by AU$9.4bn (US$6.15bn) each month, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will say on Tuesday.

Japan: The Japanese Health Ministry is set to approve antigen coronavirus testing kits on Wednesday, a ministry official said on Tuesday, in a move to boost the number of diagnostic tests available to battle the pandemic.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government is following the US in speeding up the approval of unproven virus drugs, as he faces new criticism over his plan for exiting a state of emergency and reviving Japan’s economy.

Russia: Putin eases Russia lockdown despite infection surge. The Russian president announces an easing of the nationwide lockdown, even as the country sees a record number of new infections.

UK: Boris Johnson watered down his plan for rebooting the UK economy after employers and labour unions said many workplaces aren’t ready to return to work.

9:26 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Thai losses first in four years – More losses in US oil

12 May

Thailand’s state-owned oil and gas company PTT is set to cut investment by up to 15% due to the current downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The company also registered a $48.2m loss in its first quarter of this year. This is the company’s first quarterly loss in the last four years, Reuters reported.

In the US, Kosmos Energy has reported a net loss of $183m in the first quarter of this year as the company announced measures to reduce costs. The adjusted net loss stands at $66m. Total net production in the same three month period averaged around 66,300 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Energy Transfer, a US-based company that supports transportation, storage and terminal services for petroleum products, has registered a net loss of $855m attributable to partners for the first three months of the year. The company said the loss was down to the decline in market demand and commodity prices.

Colombian oil company Ecopetrol has registered a 95% fall in first-quarter net profit due to fall in oil prices, reported Reuters. The company reported a profit of $34.3m (COP133bn) in the first three months, compared to a net profit of $700m (COP2.745tn) registered in the same three month period a year ago.

 

8:54 am

Stimulus packages could bring higher taxes and debt post Covid-19 say economists

12 May

The lockdown measures imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic has affected countries across the world with decline in revenues, high unemployment rates and economic uncertainty.

Governments are releasing stimulus packages to combat the impact but this may lead to higher taxes and debt, which will further burden people after the crisis.

Prof. Steve Hanke, Applied Economist at Johns Hopkins University, tweeted an article on the stimulus packages announced by the government and its consequences.

He noted that the US government has already created $1.48tn in deficit in 2020 and is still planning to announce more stimulus packages.

Hanke mentioned that future taxpayers will have to bear the hefty costs of the stimulus packages being announced by the government.

8:33 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global cases of Covid-19 exceed 4 million – Germany reports increasing infections after easing lockdown

12 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,118,000, with over 283,000 deaths and 1,420,000 recoveries.

Several European countries enter their first week of eased lockdown restrictions, ranging from re-opening restaurants, bars, and salons to partially re-opening schools.

While the daily confirmed cases are decreasing in most European countries, there is still concern over a second wave of cases.

In Germany, where lockdown measures were gradually reduced at the end of April, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported an increase in the infection rate, or the estimated number of people a patient infects.

While there is a degree of uncertainty in the implications, this will be a country to watch as lockdown measures continue to lift around the world.

Meanwhile, Russia officially surpassed the number of confirmed cases in both Italy and the UK, with approximately 221,000 cases to the UK’s 220,000 and Italy’s 210,000 cases.

This development comes in response to Russia reporting their highest daily increase to date with 11,656 new infections, positioning them as the third most burdened country in the world, after the US and Spain.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

4:55 pm

Saudi Aramco cuts another million barrels from production

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Energy has instructed Saudi Aramco to decrease its production in June by another million barrels, on top of previously agreed production cuts.

After accelerating oil production to record volumes earlier this year, Aramco is now slamming the brakes on. From June, it will produce 7.5 million barrels per day. When engaged in its price war with Russia, the company announced it would pump 10.6 million barrels per day in May. Now, the ministry has instructed Aramco to decrease May production to 8.5 million barrels per day.

An official from the ministry told state media they hoped the cuts would encourage other countries to make their own additional, voluntary cuts. This agenda is notably different from the combative stance which began the price war earlier this year.

Kuwait has also announced it will cut production on top of its agreed quota. In June, the country will now extract 80,000 barrels per day less than previously thought.

3:54 pm

Saudi Arabia to reduce oil production by one million barrels per day

Saudi Arabia’s energy ministry has advised state-owned oil producer Saudi Aramco to cut its crude oil production by one million bpd from 1 June, the ministry announced today.

This, combined with Saudi Arabia’s previous oil reductions, agreed to by OPEC and its oil-producing allies, make the country’s total cut about 4.8 million bpd below its April record production level. Production for June is now expected to be 7.492 million bpd.

Saudi Arabia has also said it expects to reduce production further in an effort to support global oil markets.

3:50 pm

Impact of Covid-19 on Asia-Pacific LNG sector

LNG imports by the world’s top three consumers, Japan, China and South Korea, and other Asia-Pacific countries such as India, have taken a hit due to the reduced demand and economic slowdown fuelled by the Covid-19 outbreak.

This has led to long-term LNG supply contract re-negotiations and cargo deferments by importing countries, causing supply overhang and resulting in lower LNG prices. As a result, LNG producers are rethinking their capex spends in upcoming multi-billion dollar gas projects.

To read more, please click here.

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