Coronavirus company news summary – Oil Search revenue drops by almost 50% – Alberta’s oil and gas firms granted tax respite

21 October 2020 (Last Updated October 21st, 2020 09:28)

21 October

Oil Search, Papua New Guinea’s largest oil exploration firm, has reported a revenue loss of 47.7% in third quarter, a 55% drop from corresponding period in 2019. The decline in crude prices due to the ongoing pandemic impacted the company’s LNG products. The firm’s share price declined by 60% during the year as it has been badly hit by the plummeting oil prices.

Russian energy minister Alexander Novak said that it was too early to discuss the future of oil production cuts beyond the current year, considering the rising number of Covid-19 cases. OPEC+, comprising OPEC nations and Russia, planned to progressively ease oil production cuts in a deal signed in April to maintain prices in view of declining oil demand. The first phase of production cuts is scheduled to commence in January 2021.

Brazilian oil firm Petrobras reported that production estimates in 2020 are expected to exceed previous projections, as it boosted production at its offshore oilfields. The company was able to quickly recover despite closure of its production units due to the ongoing pandemic. Petrobras revised its production targets to 2.84 million boepd from the previous estimate of 2.7 million boepd.

Canada’s Alberta province has given its oil and gas companies a three-year moratorium on municipal property taxes, as they try to cope with losses incurred due to the pandemic. The tax break is applicable for lands where the companies are drilling wells or constructing pipelines. The provincial government will also reduce property tax on less productive wells and abolish provincial tax levied on drills.