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Exxon, BP announce billions in losses for 2020

Exxon, BP announce billions in losses for 2020
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Both ExxonMobil and BP announced Tuesday that they had sustained major losses in 2020 amid low demand for oil due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Exxon posted $22.4 billion in losses for 2020, posting a loss of $20.1 billion for the fourth quarter. 

According to Reutersthis was Exxon’s first annual loss. 

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BP reported $20 billion in losses for 2020, including nearly $1.4 billion in the fourth quarter. 

Chevron, meanwhile, announced last month that it had lost $5.5 billion in 2020, including $665 million in the fourth quarter. 

During the pandemic, oil prices plummeted, particularly early in the year as demand slowed for oil amid a significant decrease in travel and foreign disputes. 

However, in recent months, oil prices have been recovering, and U.S. crude was selling at about $55 per share on Tuesday afternoon. Demand is expected to recover somewhat if the pandemic is brought under control. 

“The past year presented the most challenging market conditions ExxonMobil has ever experienced,” ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods said in a statement.

Woods added that “reorganizations” and initiatives “enabled us to respond decisively to permanently improve our cost structure, drive greater efficiencies across our businesses, and emerge a stronger company.”

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In October, the company announced plans to lay off about 1,900 U.S. employees. 

Around the same time, it was reported that BP would cut 7,500 jobs after an additional 2,500 took voluntary severance. 

In a statement, BP CEO Bernard Looney characterized the changes including job losses as “reinventing” the company. 

“The underlying operations of the company remained safe – one of our safest years – and reliable, and major new projects were brought on line,” Looney added.