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COVID-19 - News digest as of 09.03.2021

March 09/2021

1. North American petrochemical producers might see long-term cost advantage by reducing CAPEX

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The shale gas advantage of North American petrochemical majors provides a boost for investments in the region, primarily in the U.S., said Hydrocarbonprocessing.  However, the oil price crash narrowed this advantage and is likely to affect profitability. North American petrochemical majors that strive to pace investments efficiently, in line with market trends, will boost their competitiveness and seize further opportunities for growth over the long-term, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. John Paul Somavarapu, Oil and Gas Analyst at GlobalData, comments: The sudden decline in crude oil prices have distinctly affected the planned investments by the North American producers and they now need to efficiently pace investments while preserving long-term gains. GlobalData expects companies to lower their operating expenses and capital expenditures and focus on less capital intense investments to position themselves well while the market recovers." The pandemic and the resulting impact on feedstock costs have prompted petrochemical majors in North America to announce project delays.

2. ExxonMobil slashes 2025 production outlook as it focuses on Permian, Guyana

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil has slashed its 2025 global oil and gas production estimate to 3.7 million boe/d, even as it focuses on growing output at the Permian Basin and in Guyana, reported S&P Global with reference to the company's top executives' statement on March 3. Production will remain flat from 2020 levels through 2025 at 3.7 million boe/d, the company said during its Investor Day 2021 webcast. That is down from the 5 million boe/d production estimate for 2025 ExxonMobil released last year in its 2020 Investor Day, just as the coronavirus was beginning to take its toll on global oil demand and prices. While global production will remain flat, the company's operations in Guyana and the Permian Basin will ramp up over the next several years.

3. Evonik misses estimates in fourth quarter, hits full-year targets

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik Industries reports fourth-quarter net profit of EUR73 million (USD88 million), down 54% from the corresponding period of the previous year, on a 2% decline in sales, to EUR3.2 billion, according to Chemweek. The fall in net profit reflects the inclusion in the prior-year period of proceeds from the sale of the companys methacrylates business, the company says. Weaker demand, caused by COVID-19, drove down sales. Evoniks fourth-quarter adjusted EBITDA decreased 17% year on year (YOY) to EUR418 million, 4.3% below analysts consensus estimate, on a EUR15-million adjusted EBITDA loss at the companys services operation, which swung from positive adjusted EBITDA of EUR24 million in the year-earlier period. Services external sales declined 15% YOY to 188 million in the quarter on lower revenue from process technology and engineering.

4. Spainish Cepsa expects COVID-19 to keep squeezing oil refining margins

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Spanish oil company Cepsa said it expects the coronavirus pandemic to keep downward pressure on its refining margins and demand for refined products in Europe in the next few months, reported Reuters. The profit it makes per barrel of oil rebounded to USD2.40 in the fourth quarter of 2020 from USD0.50 in the third, but was still more than 35% lower than in the same period of the previous year.

5. Crude oil futures rise on bullish fundamentals as dust from Saudi attacks settles

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures rose during the mid-morning trade in Asia March 9, as expectations of higher oil demand amid an improved economic climate encouraged buying activity from investors, even as the market recovered from the chaos brought about by an attempted attack on a Saudi oil shipping port, reported S&P Global. At 11:29 am Singapore time (0329 GMT), the ICE Brent May contract was up by 51 cents/b (0.75%) from the March 8 settle to USD68.75/b, while the April NYMEX light sweet crude contract was up by 41 cents/b (0.63%) to USD65.46/b.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, North America, PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, petrochemistry, Cepsa, Evonik, Exxon Mobil, COVID-19, Germany, Spain, USA.
Category:General News
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