Natural Gas Daily: July 31st, 2020
US supermajor ExxonMobil said the Covid-19 pandemic and the measures taken to slow its spread were the main drivers behind a $1.1bn loss in Q2 2020. Second quarter net earnings last year were $505mn.
- “The global pandemic and oversupply conditions significantly impacted our second quarter financial results with lower prices, margins, and sales volumes,” CEO Darren Woods said.
On July 24, it was announced that ExxonMobil and its partners have discovered new materials that could capture more than 90% of the CO2 from industrial sources such as gas power plants.
China's CNPC is in talks to take part of BP's stake in a major gas field in Oman, sources told Bloomberg, as the UK major looks to raise cash to shore up its financial position.
- BP has a 60% interest in Khazzan, but was reported in June to be seeking the sale of a 10% interest.
- The Covid-19 crisis means BP is under pressure to raise yet more cash, but at the same time asset values have plunged with low oil prices. It sold some UK assets for a much lower price than had been agreed earlier, for example.
French utility Engie took a hit of €0.85bn on its H1 2020 current operating income (COI), particularly in Customer Solutions, owing to Covid-19, it reported. Supply networks, renewables and thermal were relatively resilient, but overall its pretax earnings (Ebitda) was down, from €5.3bn to €4.5bn.
The company announced the same day its planned accelerated expansion into networks and renewables funded by disposals of other assets, including the majority of its customer solutions business.
US major Chevron said it has “fully impaired” its $2.6bn investment in Venezuela, leading to a Q2 2020 net loss of $8.3bn, compared to earnings of $4.3bn in the same period last year.
Although demand and commodity prices have shown some signs of recovery since the second quarter, they have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels, Chevron said, and financial results may continue depressed into the third quarter.
- Imports were, however, up 12.1% month on month, as India significantly eased the lockdown and demand for gas improved.
Germany's gas imports were 8.7% higher in the first five months of 2020 than a year before, the country's statistics office Bafa reported on July 28.
European gas prices have fallen to historic lows this year, as a result of earlier Covid-19 lockdowns, mild weather, high levels of gas in storage and extra LNG imports. But demand has grown in some countries like Germany, where cheap gas has displaced coal in the power sector.