Oil giant, BP, has suffered an astronomical loss of £4.2billion this year after oil prices and demand fell throughout COVID-19.
The oil company took an exceptional loss as Brent Crude oil prices dropped sharply from £44/b at the beginning of 2020 to less than £13/b in April.
BP’s huge losses for 2020 compare with profits of £7.3billion in 2019. Despite managing to recuperate profits of £84million in the final quarter of 2020, following worldwide roll-outs of the Coronavirus vaccine and a more positive economic outlook, the oil giant’s annual losses were worse than predicted.
In the hopes that demand will bounce back this year, oil prices have continued to rise since the end of October, currently trading at £37/b.
The news of BP’s extreme losses emerges as the company cuts its exploration team from 700 to less than 100 employees as part of their “net-zero ambition […] to become an integrated energy company.”
Bernard Looney, Chief Executive at BP, said: “2020 will forever be remembered for the pain and sadness caused by COVID-19.”
“Our sector was hit hard as well. Road and air travel are down, as are oil demand, prices, and margins.”
However, Mr Looney reported a more positive outlook for 2021, claiming 2020 was a “pivotal year” for the company, and predicted, “better days ahead for us all in 2021.”