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COVID-19 - News digest as of 26.11.2020

November 26/2020

1. PetroVietnam says annual output unaffected by COVID-19 pandemic

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Vietnam's state oil firm PetroVietnam said it was on track to meet its targeted rate of production this year, despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the fall in global crude oil prices, reported Reuters. The company, formally known as Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, produced 18.12 million tons of crude oil and gas equivalent in the year to Nov. 15, meeting 89% of the yearly target set before the pandemic, it said in a statement. It produced 10.2 million tons of refined petroleum products during the period, meeting 86.5% of its yearly target, the company added. PetroVietnam is the largest contributor to Vietnam's state budget and often accounts for more than 10% of the Southeast Asian country's gross domestic product.

2. US Flint Hills to keep non-essential staff out of Pine Bend refinery after Thanksgiving holiday

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Flint Hills Resources will keep non-essential staff out its of 375,000-bpd Pine Bend refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota, for one week after Thanksgiving to prevent the spread of COVID-19, reported Reuters with reference to a source familiar with the matter. The plant is expected to continue operating normally. The decision affects most refinery staff and outside contractors other than those essential to the plant's operations, according to the source. The company declined to comment on the decision, but a spokesman said Flint Hills continues to focus on operations and the health and safety of its staff.

3. Shell may permanently shut Louisiana refinery next week

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal Dutch Shell may begin the permanent shutdown of its 211,146 bpd Convent, Louisiana, refinery early next week, people familiar with plant operations said, said Hydrocarbonprocessing. Shell announced on Nov. 5 the refinery, located 57 miles (92 km) west of New Orleans, was to close after the company failed to find a buyer amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A Shell spokesman did not reply to a request for comment. The Convent refinery is the first U.S. Gulf Coast refinery to permanently close because of the pandemic-related decline in demand for refined products. Eight other North American plants have been idled or targeted for shutdowns.

4. Crude oil futures extend uptrend on vaccine reports, US political developments

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures rose during the mid-morning trade in Asia Nov. 24, extending overnight gains, as the market remained supported by the progress of a third potential COVID-19 vaccine and co-operation from US President Donald Trump in moving President-elect Joe Biden's transition forward, reported S&P Global. At 10:51 am Singapore time (0251 GMT), ICE Brent January crude futures were up 35 cents/b (0.76%) from the Nov. 23 settle at USD46.41/b, while the NYMEX January light sweet crude contract was 37 cent/b (0.86%) higher at USD43.43/b.

5. Saudi Aramco raises USD8 billion bond

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil firm, returned to the debt markets for the first time since April of last year, selling USD8 billion of bonds to help fund the worlds biggest dividend, reported Bloomberg. The state oil and gas firm issued the debt on Tuesday after slumping crude prices caused profit to fall by 45% in the third quarter. Thats left it unable to generate enough cash to fund shareholder payouts its promised will reach USD75 billion this year. Almost all of those will go to the Saudi Arabian government, which needs the money to plug a widening budget deficit and prop up a slumping economy. Aramcos deal was the largest from a company in emerging markets this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The firm sold tranches maturing in three, five, 10, 30 and 50 years. Investors placed more than USD50 billion of orders, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Pricing ranged from 1.32% for the shortest notes to 3.65% for the 50-year portion. The spreads over US Treasures were between 110 basis points and roughly 200.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, Flint Hills Resources, PetroVietnam, Saudi Aramco, Shell, COVID-19, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, USA.
Category:General News
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