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Project delays ahead, Petronas warns

As more countries continue to extend their quarantine period due to the pandemic and its ceaselessly rising numbers, Petroliam Nasional Berhad, Malaysia’s petroleum giant warns of incoming project delays. 

The state-owned energy company currently operates in over 20 countries that include the Americas and in an attempt to maintain capital expenditure, will see a number of setbacks. 

Earlier this year, the forecast for domestic expenditure stood at a maximum of 28 billion ringgit (USD 6 billion) which is higher compared to the previous year. 

The Monday statement also mentioned the continuous impact of the pandemic on economies and industries across the globe. The company is striving to maintain the domestic CAPEX programme despite the rising risks of project delays as well as anticipated disruptions in the global supply chain and service provider. 

In just the previous month, Petronas evacuated a total of 80 employees (all Malaysian) as a precautionary measure as the virus continues to spread throughout the world. The operation was situated in Iraq. 

Consistently dropping oil prices has also pushed the South East Asian nation to join the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) along with other oil producing nations in a bid to reduce fall in energy prices. This means output will be reduced to a mere 9.7 million bpd in the months following the supposed lift of quarantine in Malaysia, equivalent to about 10% of global supply. 

The country, Malaysia, is currently in the midst of a Movement Restriction Order beginning in 18th March until 28th April. It currently has the second highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South East Asia with over 4 800 cases. – Reuters

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