The five integrated oil super majors closed their financial books for 2020 and their numbers looked dreadful. However it could have been worse. Their revenues fell an incredible 36%, from $1,218 billion to $778 billion, year over year due to a combination of lower commodity prices and lower volumes sold. Reported net income over the same period plunged from a positive $48 billion to a loss of $77 billion. While earnings losses are seldom a positive sign we believe the number are not as bad as they may appear. Not all financial losses are created equal so to speak. First the net loss of $77 billion consisted of two parts: 1) a relatively modest $6 billion loss on operations and 2) a $71 billion after tax loss due to corporate write offs (largely non cash). In other words the industry almost broke even in its operating businesses despite experiencing […]