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Coronavirus company news summary – Norway to lift oil output curbs in January – India registers rise in diesel sale

02 Dec 2020 (Last Updated December 2nd, 2020 09:26)

2 December

Norway’s curbs on oil production imposed in June will end on December 31. The output restrictions were imposed after crude prices declined earlier in the year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Norway decided to impose curbs in support of OPEC+, which also enforced output curbs in view of lower demand.

The production of crude oil in the US increased by 286,000 bpd in September, reaching 10.86 million bpd, owing to rise in output in North Dakota and US Gulf of Mexico. The overall demand is still low due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, as production increased from the lows experienced during the spring season. The September output is slightly lower than July’s figures of 10.97 million bpd.

India’s diesel sales increased by 8% in November from the previous month, a reflection of resurgence of economic activity after lifting of pandemic induced lockdown restrictions. However, the sale of diesel dropped by 7% in November compared with the same period in 2019. The total diesel consumption in November stood at 6.21Mt.

The leading energy firms globally reduced the value of their oil and gas assets by roughly $80bn in the past few months, after the long-term outlook for fuel prices was revised as a result of ongoing pandemic and energy transition. While Exxon Mobil decided to write down its natural gas assets by $17bn to $20bn, companies like Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and BP started reducing their asset values even before the pandemic struck.

For the oil and gas firms operating in the North Sea, recovery from the pandemic remains uncertain and could take years before the industry bounces back. However, oil prices surged in the past few weeks amid news of a potential vaccine for coronavirus crisis in the offing. Around 8,000 workers in the industry were removed from employment in 2020, which could rise to 30,000 next year.