The world's top 12 publicly-traded oil companies posted a combined net loss of $80 billion in the first half of 2020, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency from these firms' financial results on Saturday.
The widespread novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused a massive decline in oil consumption around the world, which significantly weakened global oil demand and pushed crude prices in April to their lowest level since 1999.
Price of international benchmark Brent crude averaged $66 per barrel in the first half of 2019, but it fell 40% to average $39.5 per barrel in the January-June period of 2020.
Due to low prices, US' ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes and British BP, Royal Dutch Shell, French Total S.A., Italy's Eni, Russia's Rosneft and Norway's Equinor posted a total net loss of $80 billion in the first half of 2020. These 12 oil giants posted a collective net income of $46.5 billion for the same period last year.
The 12 firms' total revenue also declined by $240 billion, or 37.8%, to $395 billion in the first half of this year, down from approximately $635 billion in the first six months of 2019, according to the data.
- BP posts largest loss
Among the 12 oil firms, British oil giant BP posted the largest loss with $21.2 billion in the first half of this year. It was followed by Royal Dutch Shell, which recorded an $18.1 billion loss, while American oilfield services giant Schlumberger came third with $10.8 billion loss.
Royal Dutch Shell also became the company that recorded the highest year-over-year decline in revenue, in both percentage and amount, among the 12 firms.
While the company posted revenue of $174.3 billion in the first six months of 2019, this amount fell to $92.5 billion in the same period of 2020, marking an $81.8 billion, or 46.9%, decrease.
In terms of revenue decline, the US' largest oil-producing firm ExxonMobil came in second as its revenue plummeted by $43.9 billion, or 33.1%, while France's Total S.A. saw its revenue decline by $30.3 billion, or 33%, during that period.
Oil firms in the energy industry are still facing the risk of posting high losses and larger revenue declines in the following quarters if crude prices do not recover and economic activities around the world remain weak due to COVID-19.
Price of Brent crude averaged $50 per barrel during the first quarter of 2020 and $29 per barrel in the second quarter of this year.
Brent crude is estimated to average $43.1 a barrel in the third quarter of 2020 and $43.5 a barrel in the fourth quarter of the year, according to the US' Energy Information Administration's (EIA) latest monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) report for July 2020.
The EIA said it estimates Brent crude to average $49.50 per barrel in 2021, as crude oil inventories around the world are expected to decrease next year.
By Ovunc Kutlu