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May 18, 2020

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

By Matthew Farmer

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.

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