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Shell incurs hefty quarterly loss on write-downs

Anglo-Dutch energy giant Royal Dutch Shell has reported a huge net loss for the third quarter as sizeable write-downs have eaten into the company's earnings. The firm also suffered from continuously low oil prices.

Shell booked a $7.416-billion (6.720-billion-euro) net loss in the third quarter on huge write-downs after scrapping some costly long-term projects.

The energy giant took an $8.2-billion charge alone for withdrawing from its exploration program in the Alaskan Arctic Sea in July.

An additional $2-billion charge came with the cancellation of the Carmon Creek oil sand project in Canada which would have seen Shell mining 80,000 barrels of oil per day there.

Complete review of projects

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Shell abandons Arctic exploration

"These charges reflect both a lower oil and gas price outlook and the firm steps we're taking to review and reduce our longer-term option set," Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said in a statement.

Consequently, the company's oil and gas division swung to a loss for the first time in years, Shell confirmed.

It added that its large-scale $70-billion deal on taking over smaller, gas-focused BG Group remained on track for completion early next year, with regulatory approvals from China and Australia still pending.

hg/pad (AFP, Reuters)

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