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Shell joins BP and Exxon in posting huge losses

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Oil giant Shell suffered a loss of $21.7 billion (£17.5 billion) last year after the COVID-19 pandemic hit prices and demand.
The trend follows that of BP and Exxon, which posted similar huge losses in the past 12 months.
“2020 was an extraordinary year. We have taken tough, but decisive actions and demonstrated highly resilient operational delivery while caring for our people, customers and communities. We are coming out of 2020 with a stronger balance sheet, ready to accelerate our strategy and make the future of energy. We are committed to our progressive dividend policy and expect to grow our US dollar dividend per share by around 4% as of the first quarter 2021.” Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said.
Looking ahead, Shell said "significant uncertainty" would continue to have a negative impact on demand for oil and gas products.
As a result, it said it might need to take measures to cut production.
Shell announced that up to 9,000 jobs would be lost globally as the company responded to the effects of the pandemic.
Last month, it said it was cutting 330 jobs from its operations in the North Sea.
The oil industry was already having to rethink its future plans as part of the transition away from fossil fuels and move towards more sustainable fuels before the virus struck. COVID-19 has meant companies such as Shell are accelerating that transition towards biofuels for example.
Earlier this week BP reported that it lost $18.1 billion (€15 billion) in 2020, while US giant Exxon Mobil posted annual losses of $22.4 billion (€18.7 billion).