Wednesday 11 February 2015 3:11 am

Tullow Oil share price falls four per cent as it unveils $2bn loss

The figures

Irish oil firm Tullow Oil reported a $2bn (£1.3bn) pre-tax loss, its first in 15 years, amid crumbling oil prices. This dragged its full-year revenue down 16 per cent to $2.2bn ($1.4bn). The FTSE 100 company also suspended its dividend, making no final payment in 2014, meaning shareholders received four pence per share.

Its shares were trading down three per cent to 2.9 pence per share in London at pixel time. 

Why it's interesting

Tullow Oil is the latest casualty of plunging global oil prices which have eaten into the revenues of oil producers. Oil prices have shed around 60 per cent since July last year and analysts say they will remain low for the rest of this year.

The FTSE 100 company said it will make cash savings of $500m over the next three years, by reducing its capital expenditure, operating costs and administrative expenses.

Despite the hefty loss, today's results won't be a surprise for investors, as  the company already made its biggest ever write-off of $2.3bn (£1.5bn) in January – which happens when a company's asset is worth less than previously thought.

What Tullow Oil said

"2014 was a difficult year for our industry and a challenging one for Tullow as our results today demonstrate," Aidan Heavey, chief executive, said. "In response to this, and the fall in the oil price, we have reset our business and are focusing our capital expenditure on high-quality, low-cost oil production in west Africa."