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Posts on ‘December 27th, 2020’

2020 Was One of the Worst-Ever Years for Oil Write-Downs

2020 Was One of the Worst-Ever Years for Oil Write-Downs

Royal Dutch Shell’s Prelude floating facility has struggled to deliver income. PHOTO: ROYAL DUTCH SHELL AUSTRALIA/REUTERS

By Collin Eaton and Sarah McFarlane: Dec. 27, 2020 9:00 am ET

The pandemic has triggered the largest revision to the value of the oil industry’s assets in at least a decade, as companies sour on costly projects amid the prospect of low prices for years.

Oil-and-gas companies in North America and Europe wrote down roughly $145 billion combined in the first three quarters of 2020, the most for that nine-month period since at least 2010, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. That total significantly surpassed write-downs taken over the same periods in 2015 and 2016, during the last oil bust, and is equivalent to roughly 10% of the companies’ collective market value. read more

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