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ExxonMobil reports annual loss for 2020

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Oilfield Technology,

As reported by Reuters, ExxonMobil has posted its first annual loss as a public company as the COVID-19 pandemic hammered energy prices and reduced the value of its shale gas properties by more than US$20 billion.

Exxon last year slashed spending on new projects by nearly a third, outlined plans to cut up to 15% of its workforce while adding US$21 billion to its debt to cover its spending and restructuring.

The changes come amid “the most challenging market conditions Exxon has ever experienced,” said Chief Executive Darren Woods, and over time will cut costs by US$6 billion a year compared to 2019.

The company reported a net annual loss of US$22.4 billion for 2020, on the write down and losses in oil production and refining, compared with a full-year profit of US$14.34 billion in 2019.

Exxon posted a net loss of US$20.2 billion, or US$4.70 per share, in the fourth quarter ended 31 December, compared with a profit of US$5.69 billion, or US$1.33 per share, a year ago. Excluding the impairment and other charges, the company earned 3 cents per share, beating analysts’ average expectation of a one-cent gain, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Exxon’s oil and gas output was 3.7 million bpd of oil and gas in the quarter, down 8% compared with a year earlier.

Exploration and production, Exxon’s largest business, lost US$18.5 billion in the fourth quarter on the natural gas asset impairments, compared with a profit of US$6.1 billion the year prior.

Its chemicals business earned US$691 million on better margins in part from lower oil prices, up from a loss of US$355 million a year ago. Refining lost US$1.2 billion, compared with profit of US$898 million last year, on weak margins and lower output as the pandemic limited global travel.

Exxon yesterday announced that it would invest US$3 billion on lower emission solutions through 2025 and created a business that will focus on commercialising its carbon capture technology.

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