Shell booked $18 billion loss due to coronavirus

Oil and gas company Shell suffered a net loss of 18.1 billion dollars in the second quarter of this year. The company attributes the losses to the coronavirus, and the low oil prices and asset write-downs it brought with it.

The coronavirus crisis, and related lockdowns and travel restrictions, resulted in far fewer oil products being sold. The company previously announced that there would be huge write downs. On Thursday, Shell revealed that these write-offs amounted to 16.8 billion dollars.

Based on its current estimated inventory costs (CCS), the British-Dutch oil and gas giant did book a profit of 638 million dollars. That is still much lower than the second quarter of last year, when the CCS earnings were nearly 3.5 billion dollars.

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden spoke of "a remarkably challenging environment" in the second quarter of 2020, saying that the company still managed to deliver a resilient cash flow. "We continue to focus on safe and reliable operations and our decisive cash preservation measures will underpin the strengthening of our balance sheet," he said.