ConocoPhillips Cuts '20 Capital-Outlay Budget and Share-Buyback Plan Due to Oil-Price Drop

ConocoPhillips cut its 2020 capital-spending budget and share-buyback plan due to the recent drop in oil prices.
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ConocoPhillips cut its 2020 capital-spending budget and share-buyback plan due to the recent drop in oil prices.

The Houston oil major said on Wednesday that it would slash 2020 capital expenditures by $700 million, down 10% from earlier guidance.  

The reduction will be achieved by slowing operated development activity in the lower 48 states, expected decreases in non-operated activity in the lower 48, and deferred drilling in Alaska, ConocoPhillips said

The reductions are expected to hit the 2020 full-year production outlook by about 20 thousand barrels of oil equivalent a day, the company said.

In addition, beginning in the second quarter, ConocoPhillips will reduce its plan to buy back shares in 2020 to a quarterly run rate of $250 million, down from the previous run rate of $750 million. 

 The combined moves are expected to reduce 2020 cash use by $2.2 billion. 

The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged stock markets and cut into productivity as companies close down or severely reduce output. 

Airlines have reduced capacity around the world and governments have restricted travel in order to reduce the spread of the disease.

U.S. oil prices fell to the lowest level in eight years Wednesday, while global crude sank near $26 a barrel. Investors continue to reset prices in the wake of air-travel restrictions, collapsing demand from China and record-high production from Saudi Arabia.

"Our industry is clearly experiencing an unprecedented event brought about by simultaneous supply and demand shocks," ConocoPhillips Chairman and Chief Executive Ryan Lance said in a statement. 

"The actions we are now taking reflect an acknowledgement of current events as well as uncertainty around the timing and path of a recovery."

At last check ConocoPhillips shares were off 7.1% at $24.39 during a sharply down session on Wall Street.