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Photo: Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Royal Dutch Shell said this morning that it plans to write down the value of its assets by up to $22 billion as the pandemic lowers its oil and natural gas price forecasts.

The big picture: The warning about its upcoming second-quarter financial report follows BP's mid-June announcement that it would write down as much as $17.5 billion on its assets, and signaled that some of its oil discoveries will never be developed.

Why it matters: Wood Mackenzie analyst Luke Parker, in a note, says Shell's move signifies far more than just accounting technicalities or changes to near-term price assumptions.

  • “Within this write down, Shell is giving us a message about stranded assets, just like BP did a few weeks ago," he writes.
  • “Just a few years ago, few within the oil and gas industry would even countenance ideas of climate risk, peak demand, stranded assets, liquidation business models and so on. Today, companies are building strategies around these ideas,” Parker adds.

Go deeper: Why BP's revealing accounting move could be a signal for oil's future

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 2, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Oil lobby launches swing-state ad push in final stretch to Election Day

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The American Petroleum Institute is launching a digital ad barrage in the closing weeks of the election that promotes natural gas and industry access to drilling in areas Joe Biden would place off-limits.

Why it matters: API is the industry's most powerful lobbying group. The seven-figure buy shows how the industry sees the threat from Democratic climate proposals — including a ban on new oil-and-gas leases on federal lands.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Updated Oct 2, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Oil drops after Trump's COVID bombshell

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Oil prices plunged after President Trump's overnight announcement that he tested positive for COVID-19 and federal data this morning that showed a slowdown in U.S. hiring.

Why it matters: Oil prices were already under downward pressure from the virus' persistence and, per Reuters, the U.S. impasse over stimulus talks.

25 mins ago - Health

First known U.S. case of the Omicron variant identified in California

PhotoL Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The first known U.S. case of the Omicron variant was detected in California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: The confirmed case was detected in a traveler returning from South Africa who was fully vaccinated and has mild symptoms, according to the CDC.