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COVID-19 - News digest as of 28.01.2021

January 28/2021

1. Chinese Jan-Feb crude throughput may remain at high levels despite slow demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China's crude throughput will likely remain at relatively high levels over January-February despite the slowdown in domestic fuel consumption for the Lunar New Year due to the resurgence in COVID-19 spread, as refiners aim to clear their hefty feedstock stockpiles and make full use of the country's sufficient refined product storage space, reported S&P Global. "Sufficient oil product storage space and hefty crude imports in January/February allow and force Chinese refineries to boost throughput prior to maintenance season in March-May," a Beijing-based analyst said. S&P Global Platts' data showed that average run rate at 39 refineries under the four big state-owned oil barrels - Sinopec, PetroChina, CNOOC and Sinochem - is at 80.3% in January, up from 78.2% in December.

2. Oil edges higher on crude stock draw, easing pandemic pain in US

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures edged higher during mid-morning trade in Asia Jan. 27, spurred by bullish data from the American Petroleum Institute and an improved pandemic outlook in the US, even as demand-side uncertainties owing to the progression of coronavirus elsewhere continued to weigh on sentiment, reported S&P Global. At 10:55 am Singapore time (0255 GMT), the ICE Brent March contract was up 11 cents/b (0.20%) from the Jan. 26 settle to USD56.02/b, while the March NYMEX light sweet crude contract was up 11 cents/b (0.21%) at USD52.72/b. The uptick comes as data from the American Petroleum Institute released Jan. 26 showed a massive 5.27 million-barrel draw in crude inventories in the week ended Jan. 22. Analysts, in contrast, had told S&P Global Platts that they had expected the draw in the same week to be much smaller at roughly 1.7 million barrels.

3. YPF to boost investment by 73% this year to rebuild output

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Argentina's state-backed energy company YPF plans to ramp up it investment 73% this year, with the brunt of the increased spending going toward rebuilding oil and natural gas production after a 10% slump in 2020, reported S&P Global with reference to a company source's statement Jan. 26. YPF aims to increase investment in its upstream business more than 90% this year compared with 2020, making it possible to "stabilize" oil and gas production and set it up to return to growth despite the natural declines at maturing conventional fields, the source said on the condition of not being named, citing company policy.

4. Saudi surprise output cut really helped stabilize oil market

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabia's "brilliant move" to unilaterally reduce oil output additionally by 1 million b/d has been a great contribution to the stabilization of the global oil market, reported S&P Global with reference to the statement of Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF, on Jan. 27. Starting Feb. 1, Saudi Arabia is expected to severely lower its crude production to 8.119 million b/d instead of its OPEC+ quota of 9.119 million b/d. The pre-emptive cut was announced by energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman after the latest OPEC+ meeting on Jan. 4 in order to bring down oil inventories accumulated during the pandemic.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, crude and gaz condensate, petrochemistry, CNOOC, PetroChina, Sinochem, Sinopec, YPFB, COVID-19, Argentina, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, USA.
Category:General News
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