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India Says Saudi Arabia Assured it of Uninterrupted LPG Supply

India Says Saudi Arabia Assured it of Uninterrupted LPG Supply

Monday, 30 March, 2020 - 06:45
London - Asharq Al-Awsat

India’s oil minister said on Sunday that he had discussed global oil market developments with Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and Aramco’s Chief Executive Amin Nasser as well as uninterrupted LPG supplies to India.

“Prince Abdulaziz assured (me) of LPG supplies in the coming days to support our domestic requirement,” Dharmendra Pradhan posted on his Twitter account.

On Friday, two Indian refiners declared force majeure on crude purchases from the Middle East after fuel demand plummeted due to a nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of coronavirus and the companies’ tanks are full, sources told Reuters.

Companies are cutting budgets this year after a drop in demand for oil following the virus outbreak.

Asia’s top refiner China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, or Sinopec, said it will trim capital expenditures in 2020 by 2.5 percent from a year earlier amid plunging oil prices and tepid fuel demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Sinopec plans to spend 143.4 billion yuan ($20.21 billion) this year, with 61.1 billion yuan on upstream exploration focusing on an oilfield in northwestern China and construction at two shale-gas fields in the southwest.

The cuts will mainly come from Sinopec’s refining units, which will reduce spending by 9 billion yuan from 2019 to 22.4 billion yuan, and from the sales division, down by 7.6 billion yuan, according to a company statement filed to the Shanghai Stocks Exchange on Sunday.

But, capital expenditures for its petrochemical sector will increase by 9.9 billion yuan to 32.3 billion yuan.

“Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Sinopec is adjusting the 2020 production and operation plans in accordance to market trends,” the statement said.

Sinopec has been boosting its capital spending in response to Chinese president Xi Jinping’s call to increase domestic oil and gas output.

“The company initially plans to maintain stable crude oil production and to increase output of natural gas,” said Sinopec.

The company produced 284.22 million barrels of crude oil in 2019, down 1.5% from 2018. Among which, 34.79 million barrels were churned out from overseas blocks, which is 12.1% lower from the previous years.

It also produced 1,048 billion cubic feet of natural gas in 2019, up 7.2% from 2018.

Sinopec on Sunday also reported a 8.7% fall in net profit last year due to shrinking refining margins amid industrial overcapacity and lukewarm fuel demand.

Net earnings for 2019 were 57.59 billion yuan, down from 63.089 billion yuan in 2018 but higher than 51.119 billion yuan in 2017.

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