Coronavirus company news summary – Covid-19 casts a shadow over Aramco profits – India’s crude oil imports see a 10% drop in September

4 November 2020 (Last Updated November 4th, 2020 09:39)

4 November

Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) recorded a 44.6% slump in Q3 net profits as the ongoing pandemic wreaked havoc on the demand and prices of crude oil. Weak margins from refining and chemicals division also impacted the company’s net profit, which declined to 44.21 billion riyals ($11.79bn).

Gas focused companies are witnessing a recovery as natural gas prices begin to improve after being impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, while oil prices continue to be affected. The US benchmark natural gas prices surged 33% in October, while oil prices registered a 11% decline for the same period.

Crude oil imports to India dropped for the sixth consecutive month in September as the Covid-19 pandemic diminished fuel demand. The decline in demand, however, was the lowest since the beginning of the nationwide lockdown in March. The crude oil imports in September registered a 9.8% slump from the same period in 2019. The LNG imports rose by 4.5% to 1.64Mt in September, recording an all-time high since the index started in 2004.

Oil prices recorded a 3% rise on US election day, despite volatility and increase in coronavirus cases across the world. The Brent crude futures increased to $40.10 per barrel, as US West Texas Intermediate futures surged to $37.94 per barrel. The benchmark prices, which slumped last week, made a recovery thanks to Russian oil ministry holding discussions with local companies on the prospects of extending oil production curbs into next year.