COVID-19 and Aramco: a brief analysis

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The year 2020 is unparalleled in historical oil prices, crashing in April to -US$38 per barrel from a low of US$18 in a matter of hours. The increasing stockpiles and inadequate storage facilities forced oil producers to pay buyers to take barrels that were not storable. Oil producers faced a perfect storm of strategic price cutting stemming from rivalry between oil giants from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Russia, and a global virus that forced lockdowns to contain the pandemic. Aramco, the Kingdom's 'national' oil company and the world's largest oil producer until recently, had to manage the severe oil price shock with policy changes that caused spillover effects on the nation. Historically, oil has been a crucial commodity in almost every industry since the 1900s. The global move towards green, sustainable and renewable resources in addressing climate change was anticipated to spell the end of the 'black gold' era. But oil companies have managed to be ranked as sustainable due to a broader definition that covers the adherence to environmental guidelines, governance and social impact. There have been few substitutes to rival its versatility and cost. Going electric has not proven to be a worthy rival to oil in the short-term. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), crude oil demand is expected to plateau by 2030, with 35% of vehicles going electric in 2040. It seems black gold has some time before it loses its lustre.
COVID-19 , Oil producers , Oil industry , Aramco , Oil price shock , Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Mahomed, Z., & Mahomed, M. (2020). COVID-19 and Aramco: a brief analysis. IF Hub, 3 (September 2020), pp. 32-41.


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