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COVID-19 - News digest as of 12.11.2020

November 12/2020

1. Total production slammed by OPEC+ cuts, but finances show 'resilience' in Q3

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Total's oil and gas production dropped 11% on the year in the third quarter, to 2.72 million b/d of oil equivalent and it forecast full-year output below 2.9 million boe/d on the back of OPEC+ cuts, as its third-quarter results showed financial improvement Oct. 30, reported S&P Global. In a results statement, Total said its Q3 production had been affected by OPEC+ cuts in Angola, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Nigeria and the UAE as well as voluntary reductions in Canada and disruption in Libya, noting in particular the "reinforcement" of cuts by Nigeria. The company's liquids production was down 16% on the year at 1.44 million b/d, although it noted OPEC+ cuts were offset by increases from the UK's Culzean gas field, Norway's Johan Sverdrup, Brazil's Iara and Italy's Tempa Rossa.In the context of strong OPEC+ compliance and lower North American production, Total "anticipates full-year 2020 production below 2.9 million boe/d," compared with 3.01 million boe/d in 2019, it said. However, CEO Patrick Pouyanne noted a "more favorable" business environment, and the company highlighted its July sale of the UK's Lindsey refinery, as well as its conversion of the Grandpuits refinery to a "zero-oil" producer of biofuels and bioplastics. "The oil market environment remains uncertain and will depend notably on the speed of the global demand recovery, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic," Total said.

2. Petroineos mothballs refinery units in Grangemouth, UK

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Petroineos, a joint venture (JV) between Ineos and PetroChina, will mothball a crude distillation unit and fluid catalytic cracker (FCC) at its 210,000-b/d crude refinery at Grangemouth, UK, after several months of operating at just over 50% of capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Chemweek. Maintaining the 65,000-b/d No.1 crude distillation unit and the 25,000-b/d FCC in a mothballed state would reduce future incurred costs associated with operating these two older plants, the JV says. The shutdown of the units will reduce the permanent workforce at Grangemouth to 450 employees, a reduction of around 200 jobs. The FCC unit has been offline since April due to poor gasoline market demand. Petroineos also entered into negotiations with the UK government in April, according to media reports at the time, which said that a government loan of up to GDP500 million (USD663 million) was being sought by the JV.

3. Air Products earnings lower on COVID impacts

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Air Products reported net income of USD495 million for its fiscal fourth quarter ended 30 September, down 5% year-on-year (YOY) on lower merchant volumes due to COVID-19 impacts, said Chemweek. Sales were USD2.32 billion, up 2% YOY as 2% higher pricing and 1% favorable currency more than offset 1% lower energy pass-through. Reported adjusted earnings were USD2.19, down 4% YOY and 4 cts below analyst estimates as reported by Zacks Investment Research. Volume overall was roughly flat YOY as plant startups, acquisitions and increased sales of equipment offset shortfalls attributable to COVID-19. Volumes were up 8% sequentially from second-quarter levels on sale of equipment and improved merchant volumes as economies began to improve.

4. Arkema Q3 net income falls

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema's net income fell in the third quarter as earnings dropped amid lower volumes and prices at its intermediates unit, the French company said. The company reported a strong improvement in the Group's volumes compared to the second quarter and excellent cash generation in an environment that remains uncertain.

5. OPEC cuts global oil demand forecasts, as Algeria says output curbs may deepen

MOSCOW (MRC) -- OPEC has turned more bearish on global oil demand due to the second wave of COVID-19 infections, providing sobering analysis as a key minister said Nov. 11 that the producer group and its allies may consider deepening its production cuts in 2021 to shore up the market, reported S&P Global. In its latest oil market forecast, OPEC's analysis arm revised down its projections of global demand by 280,000 b/d for 2020 and by 580,000 b/d for 2021. OPEC was more mixed in its outlook last month, when it slightly raised its 2020 demand estimate, citing economic growth in China. "These downward revisions mainly take into account downward adjustments to the economic outlook in OECD economies due to COVID-19 containment measures, with the accompanying adverse impacts on transportation and industrial fuel demand through mid-2021," OPEC said in the report.

6. MOL Group announced its financial results for the third quarter of 2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- MOL Group announced its financial results for the third quarter of 2020, said the company. During the pandemic and economic crises, Clean CCS EBITDA strongly rebounded from the Q2 lows and came in at USD 610mn in Q3 2020, only 12% lower than in the same period last year. This result brought Q1-Q3 2020 EBITDA to USD 1.59bn, 14% lower year-on-year, implying full year 2020 EBITDA likely to be at the higher end of the guidance range,  around USD 1.9bn. Simplified free cash flow jumped in Q3 to USD 306mn on continued capex discipline, bringing year to date simplified free cash flow to USD 662mn, 42% higher than in the first three quarters of last year. Organic capital expenditure was down by 33% in the first three quarters, reflecting strong capex control as well as some COVID-19-related slowdown.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, Europe, PVC, PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, propylene, ethylene, gas processing, petrochemistry, adhesives, Air Products, Arkema, Ineos, MOL Group, PetroChina, Total Petrochemicals, TVK, COVID-19, USA.
Category:General News
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