November 27, 2020

(File Photo: Petronas)

(File Photo: Petronas)

Malaysian state-owned energy giant Petronas warned on Friday that the remainder of the year would remain tough due to prolonged low oil prices and moderate demand recovery hampered by the coronavirus, as it recorded a third-quarter loss.

“Amid the fluid operating environment brought about by the pandemic as well as prolonged volatility of oil prices, Petronas is adopting a cautious outlook and anticipates that the remainder of 2020 will be challenging,” said Tengku Muhammad Taufik, president and group chief executive officer.

“We expect our performance to be continuously affected by the volatility of oil prices aggravated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” he said in a statement.

Petronas, or Petroliam Nasional Berhad, said it would continue to uphold “disciplined capital and operational spending” and preserve liquidity to ensure business sustainability.

The world’s fourth-biggest LNG exporter said its Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) will be operational by early next year, with the Atmospheric Residue Desulphurisation Train 1 and Train 2 expected to be ready-for-start-up (RFSU) by the beginning of 2021.

The Diesel Hydro Treating unit is expected to be RFSU in the fourth quarter of 2021, while the restart-up of the Refinery and Petrochemical plants is planned for the first quarter, the firm said.

Petronas reported a post-tax loss of 3.4 billion ringgit ($835.8 million) for the July to September period, against 7.4 billion ringgit in the same quarter last year.

Its second straight quarterly loss was attributed to a higher impairment loss on assets and higher tax expenses as a result of the lower oil and gas price outlook.

Revenue fell 25% to 41.1 billion ringgit.

 ($1 = 4.0680 ringgit)

(Reporting by Mei Mei Chu; Editing by David Goodman)

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