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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Chevron posted another quarterly loss Friday in the latest sign of how the pandemic is still weighing on oil companies despite some price recovery during the second half of the year.

Driving the news: The oil giant reported a $665 million loss for the October-December period, but it shrinks to $11 million on an adjusted basis after considering charges on its acquisition of Noble Energy and "foreign currency effects."

  • The company is grappling with how the pandemic has sapped demand for motor and jet fuels.
  • Losses from its refined products division weighed on the results as the company cited lower margins on sales and lower sales volumes.

What they're saying: "2020 was a year like no other," CEO Mike Wirth said in a statement.

  • But he touted the company's moves to address the crisis with steep capital spending reductions and lower operating costs.
  • "We were well positioned when the pandemic and economic crisis hit, and we exited the year with a strong balance sheet," Wirth said.

Yes, but: Chevron's stock ticked down over 2% in trading this morning. "The California oil titan lost a penny per share during the fourth quarter, compared with the Bloomberg Consensus for a 7-cent profit," Bloomberg notes.

What's next: A fuller picture of how the pandemic is still affecting Big Oil will emerge next week when ExxonMobil, Shell and BP report their Q4 results.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 29, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Electric vehicle sales far surpass pandemic expectations

Data: EIA; Note: 2020 figures are preliminary; Chart: Axios Visuals

New International Energy Agency preliminary data shows that worldwide sales grew by an estimated 40% last year, exceeding the agency's expectations.

Why it matters: The increase occurred despite a drop on overall global vehicle sales.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 4 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.