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COVID-19 - News digest as of 18.11.2020

November 18/2020

1. BP files notices of possible worker layoffs in Chicago area

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BP Plc notified officials in Chicago and the state of Illinois of possible layoffs affecting more than 250 salaried employees at the company�s offices, reported Reuters with reference to BP"s statement. BP is also reviewing the organizational structure at its Whiting, Indiana, oil refinery 28 miles (45 km) southeast of Chicago. BP�s US Pipelines and Logistics office is located in Chicago and the company has a technology campus in the nearby suburb of Naperville, Illinois.

2. Crude settles higher on COVID-19 vaccine progress, OPEC+ talks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil futures settled higher Nov. 16 as supply and demand outlooks grew more bullish on COVID-19 vaccine progress and signs that OPEC+ was moving closer to extending output cuts into 2021, reported S&P Global.
NYMEX December WTI settled up USD1.21 at USD41.34/b and ICE January Brent was USD1.04 higher at USD43.82/b. Oil futures stepped higher overnight following reports of a second COVID-19 vaccine developed by US company Moderna that is nearly 95% effective, according to data from the company Nov. 16. The news comes on the heels of a Nov. 9 announcement from pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech that their coronavirus vaccine had shown itself to be more than 90% effective in a phase 3 trial.

3. Global liquid fuels production outages have increased in 2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Disruptions to crude oil and condensate production from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC countries have risen considerably since last year, said Hydrocarbonprocessing. These outages have contributed to reduced liquid fuel supply and, along with crude oil production declines agreed to among OPEC and partner countries (OPEC+), have contributed to global liquid fuels inventory draws since June. So far in 2020, monthly oil supply disruptions have averaged 4.6 MM barrels per day (bpd) and reached 5.2 MM bpd in June, the highest monthly levels since at least 2011, when the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) began tracking monthly liquids production outages. Global oil supply disruptions averaged 3.1 MM bpd in 2019, and rising outages in Iran have been the main drivers of the year-on-year increase. EIA does not include field closures for economic reasons or oil demand declines in its accounting of supply disruptions.

4. Phillips 66 posts smaller-than-feared loss on retail improvement

MOSOCW (MRC) - U.S. refiner Phillips 66 PSX.N reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on Friday, as its marketing and specialties unit, which retails refined products, benefited from people returning to gas stations, said Reuters. The unit buys refined products wholesale to resell at over 9,100 outlets the company operates through a joint venture, and has seen demand recover as coronavirus-related lockdowns ease and travel gradually picks up. On a sequential basis, marketing fuel margins improved 27.4% in the third quarter to USD2.23 per barrel in the United States and up 24% to USD6.28 per barrel internationally.

5.China October refinery output hits record high on firm holiday gasoline demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China�s crude oil throughput rose 2.6% in October from a year earlier to its highest-ever level as fuel demand firmed on strong holiday travel, reporte Reuters. The country processed 59.82 million tons of crude oil last month, equivalent to 14.09 MMbpd, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). That compared with 13.96 MMbpd in September, topping the previous daily record set in June at 14.08 MMbpd. Total throughput during the first 10 months of 2020 was 555.18 million tons, or 13.29 MMbpd, up 2.9% from the same period in 2019. Gasoline demand was firm as more motorists hit the road for long-distance driving during a holiday period in early October. Domestic aviation fuel consumption rebounded to near pre-COVID levels in September and was expected to firm up more in October, thanks to a fast recovery in passenger travel and cargo freight, although demand from international flights remained weak.

6. Saudi Aramco plans to raise billions by issuing international bonds, as low oil prices and a grim demand outlook loom over its finances

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Aramco, the world"s biggest oil company, will issue a multi-tranche international bond, reported Business Insider with reference to a filing with the national stock exchange. The company has hired Citi, Goldman Sachs International, HSBC, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and NCB Capital to underwrite the sale. Aramco did not specify how large the dollar-denominated issuance would be, but it is expected to run into the billions, as the company struggles with a historic hit to oil demand.

7. Coronavirus to leave behind shuttered refineries and increased Asian reliance on Mid East crude

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A post-pandemic world will look very different, and the oil industry will be as much a testament to that as all the others that COVID-19 has run rampage over, reported S&P Global. Just when we may have thought that the worst is behind us, a re-emergence of the virus in several parts of Europe and the US, and the ensuing lockdowns, have sent oil demand forecasters scrambling back to adjust numbers. S&P Global Platts Analytics has further downgraded its demand outlook by 200,000 b/d and now expects global oil demand to contract by 8.5 million b/d in 2020.

8. Chemtrade reports loss on lower volumes, pricing

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chemtrade Logistics Income Fund (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) says volumes during the third quarter were down year-over-year (YOY) in all segments except water products, and pricing dropped in electrochemicals, according to Chemweek. Net income came to a loss of CD48.3 million, down YOY from a loss of CD0.2 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue totaled D346 million, down 13% from CD396 million. Earnings per share came to CD0.52, down YOY from breakeven and short of the average analyst estimate of a CD0.06 loss as compiled by Refinitiv (New York). �The COVID-19 pandemic continued to adversely affect the demand for some, but not all of our products,� says Mark Davis, president and CEO. �Demand for our water business was unaffected, resulting in another strong quarterly performance. Once the economic effect of the pandemic eases we expect to see demand for the adversely affected products increase.�
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, Near East, crude and gaz condensate, medicine, petrochemistry, BP Plc, Phillips 66, Saudi Aramco, COVID-19, China, USA.
Category:General News
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