Oil giant Shell announces charge up to $4.5 bn in Q4

Oil giant Shell announces charge up to $4.5 billion in Q4

Shell will present full-year earnings in early 2021

An oil tank truck fills the pumps at a Shell petrol station in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Credit: Reuters Photo

Royal Dutch Shell on Monday said it expects charges of up to $4.5 billion in the fourth quarter after a turbulent year for oil prices in the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

"Post-tax charges... between $3.5 to $4.5 billion in relation to impairments, asset restructuring and onerous contracts are expected in the fourth quarter," the Anglo-Dutch group said in a statement.

Shell will present full-year earnings in early 2021.

As Covid-19 slammed the brakes on the global economy, benchmark oil prices briefly turned negative in April -- before shooting back up to current levels of around $50 per barrel.

The market also crashed on the back of a vicious price war between key producers Saudi Arabia and Russia.

The resulting meltdown ravaged revenues and profits at oil majors, causing the likes of Shell and rival BP to slash thousands of jobs.