In the past year, oil companies have been struggling to adjust to lower crude prices, triggered by increasing supplies of US, Russian and Middle Eastern oil, outstripping global demand. In late September, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov asserted that global oil prices may never again top $100 per barrel.
The Royal Dutch Shell PLC said in a statement Thursday it lost $6.1 billion in the third quarter, compared with a $5.3 billion profit last year, after a decision to abandon exploration of the Arctic for oil and exploiting Canada’s oil sands, which resulted in a $7.9 billion charge.
Total SA, the French oil giant, said its net profit fell 69 percent compared with last year’s third quarter, partly the result of a $650 million write-down in Canada oil-sands ventures.
Eni, Italy’s largest energy producer, experienced a loss of 952 million euros ($1 billion) in the third quarter and sold 12.5 percent of its oil-field services company Saipem, after Eni’s gas and power unit reported that the losses and higher taxes hurt exploration and production.
US-based ConocoPhillips on Thursday reported a loss of $1.1 billion and announced new spending cuts.
On Wednesday, Canada’s Suncor Energy Inc. posted a third-quarter net loss of $376 million, a sharp reversal from a $919-million profit from the same period in 2014.
Earlier in the week, British Petroleum (BP) said in a statement that it cut capital spending for the third quarter to $4.3 billion from $5.3 billion in the same period last year, while Statoil cut $1 billion from its investment plans.