The oil and gas giant BP on Tuesday has reported a $4.4 billion net loss in the first quarter of this year after global demand dropped dramatically amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as a UK-based industry body has warned of 30,000 job cuts in the oil and gas industry over the next 18 months.
When accounting for the underlying numbers, BP’s replacement cost profit was $791 million in the first quarter of the year, down from $2.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019.
"Our industry has been hit by supply and demand shocks on a scale never seen before. The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with pre-existing supply and demand factors have resulted in an exceptionally challenged commodity environment," BP's new chief executive Bernard Looney said.
The losses were concentrated in the significant decline in the worth of inventory holdings, which totalled $3.7 billion.
On the same day, industry body Oil and Gas UK said that based on current estimates, 30,000 jobs will be lost from the UK’s oil and gas industry over the next 12-18 months, should government efforts to prop up the sector fail.
OPEC+ countries have sought to stabilize the global oil market amid the unprecedented decline in demand and subsequent price drop. On April 12, member states signed an agreement committing to cut production by 9.7 million barrels per day from May-June. Thereafter, output will be reduced by 7.7 barrels from July until the end of 2020, and by 5.8 million barrels per day from January 2021 to April 2022.