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November 2, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Covid-19 pandemic forces oil majors to cut spending – October gasoline sales in India rebound

By Jessica Paige

02 November

Russian-Vietnamese oil company Rusvietpetro has announced drilling tenders to sustain plateau production at oilfields in northern Russia, despite restrictions being reimposed by the to drill five development wells each at Upper Kolvinskoye and West Khosedayuskove fields at depths ranging between 3,000m and 3,500m.

US-based oil companies, Chevron and Exxon, have announced drastic reduction in spending in 2021 to counter the diminishing fuel demand triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Although Chevron managed to post a thin profit, Exxon registered losses. The two companies are also taking other cost cutting measures including retrenching their employees.

India’s diesel sales in October reached 6.17mt, while its gasoil consumption increased by 6.6% compared to 2019, the first rise since the Covid-19 lockdown measures were imposed in March. Gasoil sales, which account for 40% of the country’s fuel demand, surged 27.5% from the previous month. India’s state-owned IOC is bullish on refineries operating at full capacity in the upcoming months, as domestic fuel demand is rising.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on oil and gas projects in the US Gulf of Mexico will delay the recovery of the offshore support vessels (OSVs) market by more than two years, according to VesselsValue. The utilisation rates for OSVs, offshore construction vessels (OCVs) and mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs) was 59%, 60% and 78%, respectively in September, which are the lowest for a major offshore oil and gas market.

Oil exploration company Devon Energy has reduced its spending estimates, while increasing its production forecast for 2020 as the company witnessed increased efficiency at oil and gas wells. The company has also benefitted from the recovery in oil prices and fuel demand as Covid-19 lockdown restrictions were eased. The company’s yearly oil output is expected to hit 154,000bpd, from the previous estimate of 148,000bpd to 152,000bpd.

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