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COVID-19 - News digest as of 16.09.2020

September 16/2020

1. Saudi King Salman, Putin express 'satisfaction' with OPEC+

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud and Russian President Vladimir Putin both expressed "satisfaction" with the implementation of the OPEC+ crude oil output deal and discussed ways to address the global economic slump in a telephone call Sept. 7, according to a statement posted on the Kremlin website, said S&P Global. The call was initiated by King Salman and comes ahead of a key OPEC+ joint ministerial monitoring committee meeting on Sept. 17, which is expected again to focus on compliance. The JMMC is co-chaired by Saudi Arabia and Russia. "Both sides expressed satisfaction with the progress of the implementation of the OPEC+ agreement, which made it possible to stabilize the situation on the world energy markets in general," the statement said. Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed to further closely coordinate their work on production cuts, trade and investments. Saudi and Russian leaders have also discussed joint ways to overcome negative consequences of the coronavirus pandemic on the world economy and finances, the statement said.

2. Shell Wetselaar says not bullish on near-term gas prices, oil prices at artificial levels

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The head of Shell's global gas business said on Sept. 7 that he wasn't bullish on natural gas prices in the near term, oil prices were at artificial levels due to suppressed demand and supply, and there was still a difficult time ahead for the global economy due to the coronavirus pandemic, said S&P Global. "I'm not a near-term bull. Clearly, you know, what happens tomorrow or next week is beyond my forecasting abilities. But I think there is still a difficult economic time ahead," Maarten Wetselaar, Shell's Integrated Gas & New Energies Director & Member of the Executive Committee, said.

3. Australia proposes paying oil refiners billions to stay open

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Australia has proposed offering incentives worth AD2.3 billion (USD1.67 billion) over 10 years to keep the country's four remaining oil refineries open and said it would invest in building fuel storage as part of a long-term fuel security plan, said Hydrocarbonprocessing. The country's refiners have been battered by the coronavirus-driven collapse in fuel demand, racking up losses which they say threaten the future of their plants as they compete against much bigger refineries around Asia. "The government is committed to a sovereign on-shore refinery capacity despite the threat to the viability of the industry," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

4. Fossil fuel demand to take historic knock amid COVID-19 scars

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Fossil fuel consumption is set to shrink for the first time in modern history as climate policies boost renewable energy and the coronavirus epidemic leaves a lasting effect on global energy demand, BP said in a forecast, said Hydrocarbonprocessing. BP's 2020 benchmark Energy Outlook underpins Chief Executive Bernard Looney's new strategy to "reinvent" the 111-year old oil and gas company by shifting renewables and power. London-based BP expects global economic activity to only partially recover from the epidemic over the next few years as travel restrictions ease. But some "scarring effects" such as work from home will lead to slower growth in energy consumption. BP this year extended its outlook into 2050 to align it with the company's strategy to slash the carbon emissions from its operations to net zero by the middle of the century. It includes three scenarios that assume different levels of government policies aimed at meeting the 2015 Paris climate agreement to limit global warming to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

5. BP looks to cut jobs, including union positions, at its Whiting refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BP, the London-based energy giant, is looking at an unspecified number of job cuts at its BP Whiting Refinery, according to NWI. BP lost a staggering USD16.8 billion in in the second quarter after the global coronavirus pandemic caused crude oil prices to fall off a cliff and greatly weakened demand for gasoline, with people staying home more often. It's also looking to reduce its carbon emissions, even buying the remaining stake in the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm off of Interstate 65 in downstate Indiana. "Earlier this year, BP established a new ambition of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Doing so requires reinventing the company, including a global organization redesign," BP spokeswoman Sarah Howell said. "The Whiting refinery is reviewing our organizational structure and remains committed to our core value of maintaining safe operations."
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Europe, crude and gaz condensate, gas processing, petrochemistry, BP Plc, Shell, COVID-19, USA.
Category:General News
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