The Chief Financial Officer of Chevron Corp, Pierre Breber has said that it was too soon to say the worst of the pandemic-related decline in oil demand was over as oil firms struggle to preserve dividends.
He disclosed this at the weekend while reacting to the company’s third-quarter profit as oil prices recovered from spring lows and spending cuts benefited operating results.
The outlook for energy consumption “depends on when the world – this country and other countries – get control of the pandemic and those activities resume. We don’t know when that’s going to be,” Breber said.
Chevron is near the end of a year-long restructuring of its operations to reflect a prolonged period of low prices, Breber said. The effort will reduce its workforce by up to 15 per cent of its 45,000 person staff.
Despite lower volumes, it posted modest operating profit in oil and gas production and refining by cutting expenses 12 per cent and spending on new projects by 48 per cent, excluding acquisitions, both from year-ago levels.
That helped offset cheaper fuel. While its oil sold last quarter for 63 per cent more than in the second quarter, it was still well below the $47 a barrel price received a year ago.
“The world’s economy continues to operate below pre-pandemic levels, impacting demand for our products which are closely linked to economic activity,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Wirth said in a statement.