8 January

The crude oil stockpiles in US registered a steep fall last week while fuel inventories surged as 2020 ended with an overall fuel demand slump triggered by Covid-19 pandemic. The fuel output dropped to 11 million bpd last year compared with 12.9 million bpd in 2019, even as crude inventories dropped by eight million barrels last week to 485.5 million barrels, hitting a five-month low.

The ratification of deals among oil and gas producers hit a yearly high during the last quarter of 2020 as Covid-19 pandemic induced price drop triggered a slew of consolidations among exploration companies. O&G deals worth $27.1bn were signed during Q4, compared with $21bn in the previous quarter, driven by three multi-billion-dollar acquisitions in the fertile Permian basin in the southwestern part of the US.

The drilling activity restarted at Saipem-owned Coral Sul project located offshore Mozambique, after an eight-month suspension owing to coronavirus pandemic. The operators of the Coral South FLNG project will develop gas resources discovered in the Area 4 of the Rovuma Basin. The drilling operations initially commenced in September 2019 and once operational, the project is expected to produce 3.4Mt of LNG per year.

The fuel deliveries through road in Hebei province of north China were disrupted due to imposition of traffic curbs to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the region. However, the interruptions in fuel deliveries did not adversely affect the fuel demand and prices. The Hebei province was badly affected by Covid-19 outbreak as 53 positive cases were registered yesterday, taking the total cases in the region since the beginning of 2021 to 92.

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