Coronavirus company news summary – Chaparral Energy files for bankruptcy – Sasol reports 61% drop in core earnings

18 August 2020 (Last Updated August 18th, 2020 09:16)

18 August

Japanese firm Mitsui & Co has secured an exemption to export gas from Waitsia Stage 2 project, an onshore field in Western Australia. According to Reuters, the exception was awarded to support the state economy battered by the Covid-19 pandemic. The move comes when the state authorities are set to ban all gas exports to restrict the price level.

Oil driller Chaparral Energy has filed for Chapter 11 protection becoming the latest company in the US energy industry to file for bankruptcy following the Covid-19 pandemic. The company had around $421m of debt at the end of last year, Reuters reported citing court filing details. Chaparral now plans to restructure its balance sheet and will continue to operate during the bankruptcy process.

South African energy and chemical group Sasol has reported a 61% fall in core earnings after it recorded a writedown of $6.43bn following a drop of oil and chemical prices due to Covid-19 pandemic. The motor fuel producer said core headline earnings per share fell ZAR14.7 ($0.85) for the year that ended in June, from ZAR37.65 reported a year ago.

BHP Group is planning to sale its Australian Bass Strait oil and gas stake to focus on higher value petroleum assets, reported Reuters. The move comes after the company reported that an annual profit attributable from continuing operations for the year that ended in June at $9.06bn, missing analysts’ expectations amid Covid-19 crisis.