Bp has been hit with a $16.8 billion quarterly loss as it grapples with the fallout from COVID-19.

The drop is in contrast to the company’s $1.8 billion profit for the quarter in 2019 and reflects just how hard the global pandemic has hit fuel. 

The oil and gas giant also halved its dividend, down from 10.5c to 5.25c a share — a move not seen since the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010.

Bp has also previously announced it would cut close to 10,000 jobs, which will aid the company to recoup $2.5 billion in annual cash costs by the end of 2021.

CEO Bernard Looney said the results reflected the challenging quarter.

“These headline results have been driven by another very challenging quarter, but also by the deliberate steps we have taken as we continue to re-imagine energy and reinvent bp,” Mr Looney said in a statement.

“In particular, our reset of long-term price assumptions and the related impairment and exploration write-off charges had a major impact. Beneath these, however, our performance remained resilient, with good cash-flow and – most importantly – safe and reliable operations.”

Bp also reaffirmed its commitment to diversifying energy sources as it works towards a goal of a 40% cut in production of fossil fuels by 2030.  The company is ramping up its move away from oil and gas, investing in cleaner sources of wind power and solar. They have also ruled out any future explorations in new counties.

Bp also announced it will increase its annual low carbon investment 10-fold to $5 billion per year and lower emissions from its operations by 30-35% by 2030.

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