Shell tumbles to $19.9bn loss as pandemic hits energy demand

Business

Shell has reported a $19.9bn (£14.4bn) loss for 2020 after an “extraordinary year” in which oil and gas prices have slumped amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The energy giant tumbled into the red, compared with a profit of $15.3bn (£11.1bn) in 2019, as it took billions of dollars worth of accounting charges against the value of its business.

Even stripping these out, profits were 71% lower at $4.8bn (£3.5bn).

Last September, the oil giant said it was planning to axe up to 9,000 jobs worldwide in a cost-cutting drive.

Chief executive Ben van Beurden said: “2020 was an extraordinary year.

“We have taken tough but decisive actions and demonstrated highly resilient operational delivery while caring for our people, customers and communities.

“We are coming out of 2020 with a stronger balance sheet, ready to accelerate our strategy and make the future of
energy.”

The results come days after rival BP reported a loss of $18.1bn for the year.

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