Wednesday 10 February 2021 10:10 am

Equinor posts record loss as oil firm sells US shale assets

Equinor has today become the latest oil giant to post a huge annual loss after a dire year for the oil and gas industry.

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The Norwegian firm posted a loss of $5.5bn (£4bn), a record hit, as the pandemic sent oil and gas prices plunging.

As a result, the company said that it had reduced its investment plans for the coming year.

It has earmarked its $9bn-$10bn to be spent for each of the next two years, down from $10bn this year and $12bn in 2022 as previously planned.

Equinor also announced that it was selling its assets in the Bakken shale oil field in the US after over a decade of losses from the project.

The firm will sell all of the 242,000 acres to a private equity firm for $900m.

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The Bakken basin, which underlies North Dakota and Montana on US-Canadian border, is one of the largest shale oil deposits on the planet.

The move is the firm’s second exit from onshore US activities in a matter of years, having sold off its Eagle Ford assets to Repsol in 2019.

Since 2007, Equinor has reported a total loss of $21bn from its US onshore assets, including $9.2bn due to impairments of onshore shale and other assets.

“Equinor is optimising its oil and gas portfolio to strengthen profitability and make it more robust for the future,” Chief Executive Anders Opedal said in a statement.

Read more: Shell posts $21bn loss as coronavirus sends oil industry plunging into the red

“We are realising proceeds that can be deployed towards more competitive assets in our portfolio, enabling us to deliver increased value creation for our shareholders,” he added.