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April 24, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – World Bank reduces oil outlook – Petronas employees raise pandemic fund – Equinor slashes dividend

By Matthew Farmer

24 April

The World Bank has reduced its oil prices outlook due to the downturn triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. The international financial institution said crude oil prices are expected to average $35 a barrel this year, a 43% fall from the 2019 figures. It further added that the fall indicates a significant drop in demand, while overproduction further accelerated the decline.

Trade body Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) has confirmed its support for the rollout of a protective face covering for the workers travelling to offshore platforms. The protective snood is for use on the flight only when the workers are being transported to the installations across the UK Continental Shelf. The covering is designed to suit helicopter travel as it makes communication easier and allows the wearer to pull it away from the mouth if the emergency breathing equipment is required.

Norwegian firm Equinor has slashed its quarterly cash dividend for first quarter 2020 by 67% compared to the end of 2019. The board of directors of the company decided on a cash dividend of $0.09 per share for the last three-month period. The decision was taken considering various factors including expected cash flow, capital expenditure plans and flexibility during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The employees of Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas have raised a total of $1.47m (MYR6.4m) through voluntary salary contributions to support Covid-19 fight. The total contribution will be donated to the National Disaster Management Agency to support response operations against the pandemic. With this staff contribution, Petronas has contributed a total of $8.66m (MYR37.8m) towards Covid-19 support efforts.

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