Oil giant Exxon Mobil suffered its first annual loss in decades last year as the pandemic prompted energy use to plunge.
The firm lost $22.4bn (£16.4bn) as energy prices dropped – at one point falling below zero. The downturn forced the company to make drastic cuts to its workforce and investment plans, reports BBC.
Under pressure from activists, Exxon has also said it will expand its focus to more climate-friendly technology.
It said it was starting a new business focused on reducing pollution by using carbon emissions capture, a strategy the firm already makes wide use of in its own operations.
The firm also said it planned to invest $3bn in “lower emissions solutions” over the next four years.
“Last year clearly was an unprecedented event – something that forced dramatic action in the industry and within our company,” Exxon chief executive Darren Woods said. “We changed a lot of things.”
Exxon, which ranked as America’s most valuable public company as recently as 2013, reported a full-year profit of more than $14bn in 2019.
But last year’s collapse in energy demand and prices caused by the Covid-19 crisis saw the firm’s revenue drop by more than 30% to $181.5bn.
The firm wrote down the value of its shale business by roughly $20bn, took on billions of dollars in debt and slashed spending by roughly $8bn. By 2023, it said additional cuts, including to staff, would reduce costs by an estimated $6bn a year.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.