British energy giant BP reported a $16.8 billion loss in the second quarter of 2020 due to the negative impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on the oil market, according to its financial results statement released on Tuesday. 

The figure is significantly down from a net loss of approximately $4.4 billion recorded in the first quarter of this year, and also from a net profit of $1.82 billion that was seen in the second quarter of 2019.

The loss in the second quarter of 2020 widened the firm’s total loss for the first half of this year to $21.2 billion, according to the financial results.

BP CEO Bernard Looney said the April-June period of 2020 was “very challenging,” adding the company redefined its long-term price assumptions and exploration write-off charges.

While the price of Brent crude averaged $40 per barrel, BP said it estimates the international benchmark to average $50 a barrel in 2021 and 2025, and then increase to an average of $60 a barrel in 2030 and 2040.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic having continued during the second quarter of 2020, BP now sees the prospect of an enduring impact on the global economy, with the potential for weaker demand for energy for a sustained period,” the statement said.

On June 15, BP revised down its Brent crude price estimate to an average of $55 a barrel from 2021-2050.

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