The hydrocarbon sales of the state-owned company Petroperú fell up to 30% from usual in April due to the quarantine decreed to combat the advance of COVID-19, although it has not yet passed the fall in the international price of crude oil to the final consumer, explained its President Eduardo Guevara.
As a result of the almost total paralysis of productive activities in the country, the sale of fuels for transport and industry fell dramatically, although it maintained a regular level of consumption in LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) that supplies households. .
“Our sales have fallen to 30-40% compared to the 2019 average, when they were 118,000 barrels per day (of oil) on average, while in April (last) they were for 43,000 barrels per day,” said Guevara at a press conference. with the Foreign Press Association in Peru (APEP).
The senior executive also detailed that the average sale of gasoline was 33,000 barrels per day and in April it fell to 10,000 barrels, while the LPG average was 8,000 barrels and in April it fell to 5,300 barrels a day.
“Unlike gasoline and diesel, LPG for residential consumption has been the main” product sold during the quarantine, which started on March 16 and will end on May 24, said the former deputy minister of hydrocarbons.
THEY KEEP OLD PRICES
However, the state oil company has not yet transferred the international drop in oil prices, which was close to zero, to the fuels purchased by local consumers.
“Our prices are established according to supply and demand, we have a pricing policy according to certain conditions, not only the price of the product, but all the costs incurred to have it in the country, especially taxes that affect fuels, “he said.
However, Guevara added that “we are seeing how things are moving, because these falls have been abrupt, and we are seeing if it is permanent or not.”
The executive pointed out that Petroperú acquired inventories to foresee the emergency situation, but that in the face of “a different price scenario, we have to move those inventories, we need the economy to be activated more to put fuels (in the market) with better prices” .
TALARA REFINERY POSTPONED
Petroperú is in charge of the modernization of the Talara refinery, on the north coast of the country, which was due to start operations in 2021, but the works have been paralyzed, after an 86% progress, during the two months since mandatory confinement.
Guevara explained that “the objective is to restart as soon as possible”, although there were activities that could not be stopped, as well as the security and supervision of equipment and unfinished works.
The company is evaluating “how we are going to work under the new protocols, there are many measures that can impact the times, to be able to see what the new schedules are going to be.”
“The goal is to continue the job safely and see the extension times that would be necessary,” he noted.
The company must submit a protocol for the health and safety of its workers to the Ministry of Energy and Mines, after which it must be approved and registered with the Ministry of Health, before setting a date for the restart of operations in Talara.
The works at the refinery had planned financing with the Spanish government of 285 million dollars, but there is still a section to finance that the company is evaluating whether to resort to bonds or a loan, according to Guevara.
OIL PIPE RESET
On the other hand, regarding the cessation of operations of the Nor Peruano Pipeline, Guevara announced that they are also “in the process of restarting, to see the personnel that would enter, to verify the state of health”, which may take “about two weeks” .
Regarding the possible risks of contagion for the populations surrounding the pipeline, located in the Amazon, the executive said that “people (stationed at the site) go to the stations and do not move,” but that “the staff have to pass the quarantine (preventive) before going “to the area.