Barcelona — Spanish integrated energy group Repsol reported Jan. 19 that its estimated upstream oil and gas production in 2020 decreased 8% year on year at 648,000 b/d of oil equivalent -- its lowest annual total since the 2015 purchase of Talisman -- with Libyan interruptions and the oil price impact from the pandemic weighing on volume.
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The full-year total was nonetheless in line with the company's postpandemic revised target of 650,000 boe/d, which it sees through to 2030.
By region, Europe and Africa showed the largest production decline in 2020, falling 29% year on year to 86,000 boe/d. Repsol's share in the Libyan El Sharara field can supply up to 39,000 boe/d net to Repsol, but output suffered interruptions throughout the year following a shutdown at the field in January 2020 and a blockade of oil terminals.
Output from Europe and Africa regions did increase 37% from the third quarter to 96,000 boe/d in the fourth quarter, but this was still a decline of 23% year on year.
Other regions also returned negative numbers for 2020, with Latin American production down 11% year on year at 295,000 boe/d and production in the Asia/rest of world region dropping 5% year on year at 69,000 boe/d.
The one region that posted increased production was North America, where Repsol boosted output 9% year on year at 198,000 boe/d after the company upped its interest in Eagle Ford during 2020, and reported resilient operating economics at two other US operations --Marcellus and Buckskin.
For the fourth quarter, however, all four of its global regions reported declining volume on an annual basis for a combined total of 628,000 boe/d, which was a 14% decline from a record quarter in Q4 2019 of 730,000 boe/d.
All production figures are provisional with confirmed results due to be published Feb. 18.
In the downstream business, Repsol said its refining margin in Q4 2020 returned to positive, rising to an estimated $1/b from minus 10 cents/b in Q3, although this compared with a $5.60/b margin in Q4 2019.
The full-year average refining margin indicator in 2020 was $2.20/b, down from $5/b in 2019.
The refinery utilization rate for the year came at 74%, including 73.6% in Q4. This compared with an 88.4% rate for full-year 2019 and 85.7% in Q4 2019.
The conversion rate was even more heavily impacted by the pandemic-related economic slowdown, falling to 86% in 2020 and 77.3% in Q4, compared with 103.3% in 2019 and 104.3% in Q4 2019.
Repsol owns and manages five refining complexes in Spain -- Cartagena, Coruna, Bilbao, Puertollano and Tarragona -- with a total capacity of about 896,000 b/d, but has trimmed back production to meet market needs, particularly on a sharp plunge in jet fuel demand, which is currently at about 25% of its prepandemic levels in Spain.