8 December

Malaysian oil and gas producer Hibiscus has deferred the final investment decision (FID) on its Marigold oil field located in UK Central North Sea due to global slump in oil prices caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. While the FID has been postponed to next year, the first oil from the field is expected in 2023.

The US oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange and the Brent contract on the International Exchange declined on Monday as various states including California imposed restrictions on travel and commercial activity due to surge in coronavirus cases over the past few weeks. The implied gasoline demand in US hit a five-month low at 7.973 million bpd last week during the Thanksgiving holiday.

The oil prices in North Sea are recovering after a prolonged slump, thanks to the rise in crude demand in Asia as activity is returning to normal across the continent after lifting of Covid-19 pandemic induced restrictions. The Asian refineries have been purchasing crude from US, Russia and Middle East over the past few weeks, even as the demand for North Sea barrels increased gradually.