150 American oil companies are at risk of bankruptcy
Economy News _ Baghdad
The Covid-19 epidemic and the resulting drop in oil prices have resulted in heavy losses for the giant oil companies, which find themselves forced to limit their exploration and exploration activities significantly.
According to the "French", Stephen Brennock, analyst from "BVM" sums up the matter by saying that "oil exploration took a heavy blow this year with the collapse of demand and oil prices due to the global epidemic."
In the North Sea, exploration activities declined 70 percent, in the United Kingdom, and 30 percent, in Norway, compared to plans that were planned before the crisis, according to a study by the Westwood Center on Energy published in late September.
The US company "Exxon Mobil" 30 percent, equivalent to at least $ 10 billion, reduced its investments, especially in the field of exploration and exploration of oil materials, and also reduced the Italian "Eni", the British "BP" and the Norwegian "Aikinor".
The companies dealing with the energy giants are also paying a high price, as is the French "CGG" group, which works in the field of analyzing subsoil resources, which expects this year a 40 percent decline in its turnover.
On the other side of the Atlantic, more than 30 exploration and production companies have been in bankruptcy in the United States since the beginning of the year, according to the "Heinz and Bone" law firm in Texas, and if the price of West Texas Intermediate crude remains stuck at $ 40 a barrel for a long time, then Another 150 companies could join this year, analysts from Rystad Energy estimate.
Rafaela Hine of GBC Energy is more optimistic. She expects that "outside the United States, where it takes longer, exploration programs will resume in all major supply areas and will approach pre-crisis levels next year."
"In the past, we saw that the huge cuts in spending in the budgets of the big companies did not really affect their future production, because the search for new fields is, to a lesser extent, a matter of survival," she stressed.
Despite the changes that have been taken towards producing more environmentally friendly energies, the plans for the way of the big companies show that the appetite for exploration still exists, but it is clashing with the recovery of crude prices.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude prices fell in an unprecedented way in March, and appear to be stuck at around $ 40 a barrel, which is too low to allow many of the players in the sector, especially Americans, to achieve a commensurate rate of return.
on the other hand, are emerging exploration projects, as in the Arctic Ocean, which is believed to contain 13 percent of oil reserves and 30 percent of undiscovered natural gas reserves in the world, a task that has become easier with the rapid retreat of the ice cover.
The Russian "Gazprom Neft" company and the English-Irish "Shell" announced their alliance in July to explore and explore the Arctic Peninsula.
For its part, the Donald Trump government approved a mid-August project that opens the way for oil derivatives exploration in the largest natural protected area in the United States in Alaska, and the exploration project includes a coastal area with an area of about 70 thousand square kilometers, equivalent to the size of Ireland, along the frozen ocean Northern.
Hain believes that these projects "are not economically sustainable and the current crisis makes them more difficult to achieve, although political will can outweigh these considerations."
The signals reaching the global oil markets are still mixed, as China's crude stock rose to close to a record level despite the return of traffic jams to the streets of Chinese cities and the revival of industrial activity. In contrast, the United States' oil reserves decreased, while travelers did not move much using transportation.
The countries of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and their allies in the "OPEC +" group are still blocking millions of barrels of crude oil from reaching the markets every day, in order to prevent the accumulation of surpluses in the markets, but there are indications that some oil-exporting countries do not adhere to their quota Productivity according to agreement.
According to "Bloomberg" news agency, the global oil market witnessed during the first half of this year the strongest ups and downs in its history, and is now suffering from mixed and conflicting signals, as dealers try to explore market prospects during the remaining months of the year.
While prices currently revolve around the level of $ 40 a barrel, the major oil and raw materials trading companies such as Vitol Group, Trafigura Group and Mercuria Energy Group have differing views on market conditions during the coming period.
The new Corona virus will be the most important factor affecting developments in the oil market, as the number of people infected with the virus has increased again in the United States and Europe, which are the two main centers of oil demand in the world, according to what "German" reported.