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World oil demand to fully recover in H2 2021: Gazprom Neft CEO

Highlights

Demand recovery slowing down

Current prices comfortable for company

Moscow — Global oil demand will return to pre-pandemic levels in the second half of next year, Gazprom Neft CEO Alexander Dyukov said Sept. 23.

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"I think that we can hope to reach 2019 consumption volumes in the second half of next year," Dyukov said on the sidelines of an oil forum in West Siberia, as quoted by Prime news agency.

His forecast was more pessimistic than the energy ministry's, which expects a full recovery in oil demand in the second quarter of 2021.

"We see a slowdown in demand recovery. Of course, the main reason is that the pandemic has not gone anywhere yet. Many countries either expect or have already faced a second wave," Dyukov added.

However, he does not expect strict quarantine measures to be put in place again and a consequent severe market reaction.

Comfortable prices

Oil prices holding near their current $40/b was suitable for Gazprom Neft, Dyukov said.

"This price level is absolutely comfortable for us, and probably for the [Russian state] budget," he said.

However, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Aug. 27 that prices would "better be a little higher" than $46/b.

Russia has a breakeven oil price of about $51/b, according to S&P Global Ratings.

Next year will see prices in a range of $50-$55/b as the world continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, energy minister Alexander Novak said Sept. 4.