NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of ConocoPhillips (COP) are sinking, down 2.31% to $66.28 in early market trading Monday, after the oil and gas producer announced it will cut its 2015 capital budget by 20% from a year ago to $13.5 billion.
The reduction in capital reflects the company's decision to lower spending on major projects, as global crude oil prices continue to decline.
ConocoPhillips said it would "defer significant investment" in oil fields across North America.
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Brent crude oil fell below $67 per barrel on Monday to a new five year low after Morgan Stanley cut its 2015 forecast, citing oversupply.
Morgan Stanley analysts said crude prices could decline to as low as $53 per barrel in 2015, although its base case scenario was for $70, down from its previous estimate of $98.
The firm believes global oversupply would keep building until next year due to OPEC's decision to maintain its output ceiling of oil.
Houston, TX-based ConocoPhillips is the world's largest independent E&P company based on production and proved reserves, with operations in 27 countries.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates CONOCOPHILLIPS as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate CONOCOPHILLIPS (COP) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."