BP to take up to R301bn hit on coronavirus

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British energy giant BP revealed Monday that it will take a hit of between $13 billion (R223bn) to $17.5 billion (R301.3bn) in the second quarter on "sustained" coronavirus fallout.

"With the Covid-19 pandemic having continued during the second quarter of 2020, BP now sees the prospect of the pandemic having an enduring impact on the global economy, with the potential for weaker demand for energy for a sustained period," it said in a statement outlining the impact of both non-cash impairments and write-offs.

It now expects European benchmark London Brent North Sea oil prices to average $55 per barrel between 2021 and 2050, while it also lowered its guidance for gas prices.

The London-listed energy major had announced plans one week ago to axe "close to 10,000" jobs, or almost 15 percent of its global workforce.

And it warned that oil prices had plunged well below the level which the group needed to turn a profit.

After companies worldwide closed their doors and airlines grounded planes towards the end of the first quarter, oil dropped off a cliff, causing prices to briefly turn negative.

Prices have, however, rebounded sharply in recent weeks as governments ease lockdowns and businesses slowly reopen.

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