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Jakarta Post

Energy heavyweight Medco books $95m loss in first half

  • Norman Harsono

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, October 7, 2020   /   07:45 am
Energy heavyweight Medco books $95m loss in first half Medco Energi logo. (Courtesy of Medco Energi/-)

PT Medco Energi Internasional, Indonesia’s second-biggest homegrown oil and gas company, booked a US$95 million loss in the first half of this year, following a collapse in domestic and global energy demand

Medco’s revenue fell 7.6 percent year-on-year (yoy) to $551.76 million in the first quarter, driven by lower oil and gas revenue, which is Medco’s biggest income contributor, the company’s latest financial report shows.

The second quarter saw oil and gas demand plummet as cities and provinces entered large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), starting with Jakarta in April.

“Low energy demand during the COVID-19 pandemic caused oil prices in the second quarter to fall below $30 per barrel and kept gas demand at a minimum,” said Medco CEO Roberto Lorato in a statement on Oct. 3.

Low global oil prices suppressed Medco’s income even though oil and gas production rose 5 percent yoy to 101,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in June, according to the statement.

Global oil price benchmark Brent reached $37.62 per barrel on Monday, well below last year’s average of $60 per barrel, Bloomberg data shows. Analysts expect Brent prices to remain below $50 per barrel this year.

The company’s electricity sales slumped 9 percent yoy to 1,136 gigawatt hours (GWh) in the first half due to lower electricity demand in Batam, an industrial area where Medco operates several power plants.

Meanwhile, Medco’s expenses rose 28 percent yoy to $349.2 million in the first half, notably driven by a doubling of oil and gas asset depreciation, depletion and amortization costs, in line with the falling oil prices.

“This is what made operational costs rise. Furthermore, [Medco’s] mining company had a lot of activity in its mining assets,” MNC Sekuritas analyst Rudi Suthong told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

Medco’s affiliated gold and copper miner PT Amman Mineral Internasional lowered its loss by 59 percent to $20.3 million in the first half. The miner began new production from its prized Batu Hijau mine in West Nusa Tenggara in April.

The company, which previously revised down its 2020 capital expenditure budget to $240 million, has disbursed $178 million for several energy projects as of the first half “in anticipation of a better future”.

Read also: Medco cuts capex and production over oil price crash

Most of the disbursed capital (67 percent) went to developing oil and gas projects in Meliwis, East Java and in the South Natuna Sea. The remainder (33 percent) went to developing a power plant in Riau and exploring geothermal wells in Ijen, East Java.

Medco stocks, publicly listed at the Indonesia Stock Exchange as MEDC, rose 4.73 percent on Tuesday compared to the benchmark Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) rise of 0.93 percent, Bloomberg data shows. The company’s stocks have plunged more than 50 percent so far this year, underperforming the broader JCI’s 20 percent drop.