Chevron reports annual loss of USD5.5B on lower oil prices

NEW YORK (AFP) – Chevron reported a fourth-quarter loss on Friday to conclude a rocky year for oil companies as the coronavirus battered demand for petroleum products.

The United States (US) oil giant, which trimmed staff and slashed capital spending to ride out the downturn, finished the year with a loss of USD5.5 billion, compared with earnings of USD2.9 billion in 2019.

Chevron lost USD665 million in the quarter ending December 31, compared with a loss of USD6.6 billion in the year-ago period following a large asset write-down.

US oil prices bottomed out in April 2020, when futures briefly went into negative territory amid a supply glut prompted by the sudden shutdown of much of the US economy.

Crude prices rose and stabilised later in the year, but demand remains weak for some products such as jet fuel.

“2020 was a year like no other,” said Chevron Chief Executive Mike Wirth. “When market conditions deteriorated, we swiftly reduced capital spending by 35 per cent from 2019 and also reduced operating costs, demonstrating our commitment to capital and cost discipline.”

Revenues in the fourth quarter fell 30.5 per cent to USD25.2 billion.

For all of 2020, revenues fell 35.4 per cent to USD94.7 billion.