Coronavirus company news summary – Aker plans further diversification of business – IBIA estimates bunker fuel demand to fall

17 September 2020 (Last Updated September 17th, 2020 10:32)

17 September

Several oil refiners are planning to shut down processing plants as demand continues to remain weak with bleak prospects. According to a Reuters report, Japanese oil refiner Eneos Holdings plans to close the 115,000bpd Osaka refinery next month, while Royal Dutch Shell has decided to permanently shutdown its 110,000bpd Tabangao facility in the Philippines. In the US, Marathon Petroleum is considering to permanently suspend crude processing at refineries in Martinez and Gallup.

Norway’s Aker group is planning to reduce its dependence on oil and gas operations in the next decade by focusing on IT and low carbon energy businesses. This was said by Kjell Inge Roekke, who holds 67% stake in the Aker group. Roekke further added IT and low carbon will account for more than 50% of the company’s assets within five to ten years. This comes when the oil and gas sector is struggling to recover from the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.

The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) estimates that bunker fuel demand will fall by up to 17% globally this year due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic. Global marine fuel demand is estimated to be 300 million tonnes per annum. An IBIA executive was quoted by Reuters as saying that the fall in global demand may trigger more consolidation among bunker suppliers.