JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s state oil and gas firm Pertamina could gain profits in the second half of 2020 as its performance continues to increase despite the Covid-19 pandemic, an analyst said.
“By looking at Pertamina’s business strategy in its downstream and upstream sector, it makes perfect sense to make a profit in the second half of 2020 to compensate for the losses in the first half of this year,” Abra PG Talattov, a researcher at the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef) told State News Antara on Sunday, December 13.
Abra said Pertamina’s downstream sector has succeeded in making use of the economic activities such as providing the fuel for various transportation modes during the transitional period of the partial lockdown.
“This has improved Pertamina’s performance in the second half of 2020,” Abra said.
He said that the development has been seen since the beginning of the second semester. This includes the increase in sales volume of the fuel by five percent in July compared to June.
The increase in airplane passengers, the use of more vehicles, as well as the slow but steady re-start of tourism and travel have also boosted Pertamina’s income.
Meanwhile, the improvement in the upstream sector was partly boosted by the world’s oil prices that started strong in the second half of 2020, and economic recovery in East Asias countries including Korea, Japan, and China. The distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine to some countries has also caused a positive response, he said.
“This triggers rebound in crude oil prices and it is also one of the factors in the improved performance in the upstream sector,” said Abra.
Still, in the upstream sector, he added, Pertamina can maintain a balance between supply and demand and even requires imports of crude oil, to promote the company’s growth.
He said that the contribution from the refinery sector can also support the distribution of domestic fuel.
Despite a net loss of $767.92 million in the first semesterof 2020, the company is estimated to obtain profit in the second semester.
Pertamina is projected to achieve a net income of about $800 million this year. If this target can be achieved, it will allow the business to become profitable, he said.
Not all the world’s oil and gas companies could gain profits by the end of 2020, he added.
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