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Breakbulk July 2020

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announced billions of dollars in cuts to planned capital expenditures, and oilfield service providers such as Halliburton and Baker Hughes, already hit hard, have announced layoffs, according to IHS Markit. It is difficult to predict exactly which projects will be pared down or eliminated, Pritesh Patel, executive director, Upstream Costs and Technology for IHS Markit, told The Journal of Commerce in a recent interview, but anything that had been scheduled to reach final investment decision during 2020 is likely to be off the books, including projects sanctioned during the first quarter, he said. Projects sanctioned in 2018 and 2019 might be delayed, but they should ultimately continue, he said. email: twitter: @janet_nodar Taking the weight Heavy transport demand keeps rolling despite COVID‑19 complications By Chris Barnett THE COVID‑19 PANDEMIC and lockdown efforts to control its spread have not significantly hampered land‑based heavy transport in the United States. Like other members of the project supply chain, however, the sector is wary of fallout from the oil and gas industry's pullback on capital expenditures due to the oil price collapse. Grant Mitchell, regional director of North America for Belgium‑based Sarens Group, credits the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association (SCR&A), a US trade association for the heavy transport segment, with convincing the federal government that engineered transport should qualify as an essential business during the pandemic lockdowns. "That was a massive help, and we've managed to steam through this period without hardly missing a beat," he told The Journal of Commerce. Vogt Power International, a supplier of equipment and services that are essential to electrical utilities, has also operated with minimal interruption, according to Jeromy Hofmeister, manager of logistics. "However, we have observed delays with certain projects due to COVID‑19, which impacts new business opportunities," Hofmeister said. Likewise, the pandemic has not slowed Portland, Oregon–based Omega Morgan, a specialized and heavy‑lift transportation company. "Eighty percent of our business continued because we were deemed essential, so we didn't furlough anyone and have continued moving transformers, wind energy blades and towers, and other project cargoes," said Erik Zander, director of sales for Omega. But differing lockdown rules across the US, with some states' requirements more stringent than others, are complicating transport, Zander said. Private employers' rules have also varied, with some shutting down for weeks at a time, he noted. Project owners have been "very cautious" to avoid spreading the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19) on construction sites, with some shutting down temporarily due to a positive diagnosis on site, Jake Swanson, sector head for EPC projects with DHL Industrial Products in Houston, told The Journal of Commerce.

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