Oil and gas companies around the world are set to slash spending, as oil prices continue to plunge because of the price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia and the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to Reuters, Chevron Corporation revealed plans to trim spending that could lead to lower near-term oil production, although the company did not provide details. The oil major’s 2020 organic Capex guidance was $20 billion.
North American oil and gas producers have slashed their capital spending by about 30% on average, while Exxon Mobil has said it would make “significant” cuts to spending this year, including the $30-33 billion budgeted for projects.
Kosmos Energy has suspended paying its dividend and said it was aiming to reduce 2020 capital spending by 30% with a view to becoming cash flow neutral at oil prices of $35 a barrel, while Gulf Keystone suspended some of its drilling activities in the northern Iraqi region due to recent developments.
BPBP said it planned to reduce capital and operational spending from about $15 billion in 2019, although no figure was given.
Equinor is reviewing its capital and exploration spending plans, while its second tranche of share buyback program – worth $675 million scheduled to run from May 18 to Oct. 28 – is pending approval by the annual shareholders’ meeting, a company spokesman said.
In New Guinea, Oil Search Ltd has slashed its 2020 investment and capital spending by 38% and 44%, respectively, to cope with crashing oil prices.
Premier Oil said it had identified at least $100 million which could be saved in its 2020 capital spending plans. It expects a neutral cash flow once the deduction is made, and assumes a stable $35 per barrel oil price for the rest of the year.
Australia’s No. 2 independent gas producer, Santos Ltd said it was reviewing all its capital spending plans in light of the collapse in oil prices and would stop all new hiring.
Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, Aramco will cut capital spending for 2020 to between $25 billion and $30 billion, as against $32.8 billion in 2019.
Tullow would cut its investment budget by about a third to $350 million this year and reduce its exploration spending by almost half to $75 million. It said the oil price fall could jeopardize a planned $1 billion in asset sales needed to refill its coffers, raising the risk the group’s lenders may become reluctant to approve loans essential to shoring up its future.
Although none of the companies has mentioned a lay-off, there are indications that there would be no new hiring for the rest of 2020.