British hydrocarbons giant BP on Tuesday announced a huge net loss of $ 20.3 billion in 2020 due to plummeting oil prices triggered by the health crisis, though it expects a market rebound.
The group had made a net profit of $ 4 billion in 2019 before the onset of the pandemic, it said in a statement.
“Our industry was hit hard by the health crisis. Road and air transport are in decline, as are oil demand, prices and margins,” said Bernard Looney, CEO of BP.
As a consequence of the consumption slump, particularly early last year after the first lockdowns, oil prices fell to record lows and hit negative territory in early April.
They then rose to just over $ 50, but are still below their early 2020 levels.
BP further notes that prices have risen since the end of October, helped by efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) countries and their partners to reduce production and, more recently, by hopes of vaccination.
“We look forward to much better days for everyone in 2021,” Looney said.
The group expects demand to recover this year, but expects it to suffer in the first quarter due to new restrictions caused by variants of the virus.
In 2020, BP sold its oil at an average price of $ 39-42, up from $ 57-64 in 2019.
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