MOSCOW (Reuters) – The chief executive of Russian oil producer Gazprom Neft (MM:) said he expects global oil consumption to return to pre-crisis level in the second half of 2021, slightly later than the energy ministry’s forecast for the second quarter.
Speaking at a conference – first large-scale industry event since Russia scrapped public events in March – on Wednesday, CEO Alexander Dyukov said the current oil prices of above $ 40 per barrel () are comfortable both for the company and the federal budget.
“The pandemic hasn’t gone anywhere… but we are sure that there won’t be such a harsh reaction, first of all in Europe, to the pandemic, there won’t be harsh quarantines,” Dyukov said.
“This… will allow to balance the market. I think in the second half of next year, at least we hope so, we will be able to return to the consumption volumes of 2019.”
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday he expected global oil demand to recover fully in the second quarter of 2021.
The Paris-based International Energy Agency has cut its forecast for global oil demand for 2020 for the second time in two months last week due to the faltering recovery.
The energy watchdog forecast global consumption of petroleum and liquid fuels will average 91.7 million barrels per day for all of 2020, a reduction in its previous forecast of 200,000 bpd and down 8.4 million bpd from 2019’s 100.1 million bpd level.
Gazprom Neft’s Dyukov also said that the company was doing everything possible to keep up investment despite global demand for oil slowing because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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