11 December

India’s state-owned oil refiner India Oil Corporation’s production levels reached 100% capacity in November for the first time since the imposition of Covid-19 related lockdown restrictions by the government in March. The run rates increased from 88% in October and 99% in November in 2019 as the fuel demand recovered to pre-pandemic levels. With the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out in the offing, the refiner is expecting a V-shaped recovery in use of petroleum products.

Qatar’s oil revenue is projected to decline by $33.4bn in 2021, a 27.6% drop from the current year’s budget estimate. The oil price is expected to average at $40 per barrel, as they bounced back from plummeting to a near 20-year-low in 2020, due to the impact of coronavirus pandemic. Despite recovery, the prices are much lower compared to the 2019 levels. Crude prices act as the yardstick for gas prices, which have an effect on Qatar, since it is one of the largest LNG exporters in the world.

US net crude imports increase by a record of 2.7 million bpd, which expanded the country’s Gulf Coast stocks by 11.8 million barrels, the highest growth in a week. The growth in exports came as a surprise to the oil market, which is bearing the brunt of demand slump triggered by ongoing pandemic. The crude inventories increased by 15.2 million barrels last week, reaching 503.2 million barrels, the highest growth in seven months, beating analysts’ estimates of a 1.4-million-barrel plunge.