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UPDATE: 12 oil majors to slash capex by $43.6B amid price collapse, coronavirus

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UPDATE: 12 oil majors to slash capex by $43.6B amid price collapse, coronavirus

The massive plunge in oil prices amid the price war between OPEC and Russia and a drastic decline in oil demand due to the global coronavirus pandemic has forced the world's top integrated oil and gas majors to take swift and dramatic measures to preserve cash and protect their balance sheets.

S&P Global Market Intelligence is tracking the majors' responses to the plunging oil prices, listed in reverse chronological order. This feature will be updated with new information as more companies announce their plans.

As of April 7, 12 of the world's largest public oil and gas companies by market value have announced specific cuts to their 2020 capital spending programs, totaling approximately $43.6 billion, as global crude prices have tumbled below $30 per barrel.

In total the announced cuts by the 12 integrated majors represent an approximate 23% decline in capital spending compared to their initial plans and far eclipse announced 2020 capex reductions by independent oil and gas producers.

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Exxon slashes 2020 capital spending by $10 billion, or 30%

Exxon Mobil Corp. announced April 7 that it will cut its capital budget for 2020 by 30%, or $10 billion, in response to low energy prices caused by collapsing demand. Exxon said it would also cut its cash operating expenses by 15%.

Exxon's new capital investment budget for the year is now about $23 billion, a decrease from the $33 billion previously announced, with most of the spending cuts to take place in the U.S. Permian Basin.

BP slashes 2020 capital spending by 25%, will write down $1 billion in first quarter

BP PLC announced April 1 that it will cut its 2020 capital spending budget by $4 billion, or about 25% of previous guidance, to $12 billion to navigate the depressed economic and oil price environment amid the coronavirus pandemic. BP, which spent $15.2 billion in 2019, also said it will write down about $1 billion in noncash, nonoperating charges in the first quarter.

Petrobras to cut spending, postpone dividends amid oil price crash

Brazilian state-run oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA, also known as Petrobras, said March 26 it will cut 2020 investments by $3.5 billion to a total of $8.5 billion, from $12 billion previously, to soften the blow of the new coronavirus pandemic and the recent oil price downturn on the business. The major has also proposed cutting its operating expenses by the year by $2 billion and postponing paying out dividends to shareholders.

Eni trims 2020 capex by €2 billion, withdraws €400 million share buyback proposal

Italy's Eni SpA said March 25 it plans to cut capital expenditures for 2020 by about 2 billion, or 25%, from its previously planned spend of approximately 8 billion, to adjust for market conditions caused by the coronavirus outbreak and plunging oil prices.

Eni on March 18 announced it would withdraw its €400 million share buyback proposal. Eni will reconsider relaunching the buyback when the Brent price is equal to at least $60/bbl, it said.

Repsol to cut capex by €1 billion, trim operating costs by more than €350 million

Spain's Repsol SA said March 25 it will reduce 2020 capital expenditures by more than €1 billion, or 26%, due to the oil price crash and the coronavirus pandemic. The company is also looking to decrease operating expenditures by more than €350 million.

Occidental cuts spending plans twice, down 47% from initial guidance

Embattled oil producer Occidental Petroleum Corp. on March 25 slashed its spending plans for the second time in a month as it tries to navigate a low oil price environment and heat from activist investor Carl Icahn.

The new spending guidance, between $2.7 billion and $2.9 billion, is down from the $3.5 billion to $3.7 billion range given March 10 and represents a 47% decrease from the midpoint of the company's initial 2020 spending plan of $5.2 billion to $5.4 billion.

In addition to trimming its capital spending plan, Occidental said it will cut 2020 operating and corporate costs by at least $600 million, which includes "significant" salary cuts for the corporation's executive team.

The company also announced March 10 it will cut its dividend — a major selling point for investors ― from 79 cents per share to 11 cents per share.

Equinor to shave $3 billion in 2020 spending, delays $5 billion in share buybacks

Norway's Equinor ASA said March 25 it will slash capital expenditures as well as exploration and operating costs by a total of $3 billion amid the one-two punch of the coronavirus pandemic and plummeting oil prices.

The major will cut organic capex by $2 billion to $8.5 billion, down about 19% from a prior range of $10 billion to $11 billion. In addition, it will reduce exploration expenses from $1.4 billion to $1 billion and will trim operating costs by about $700 million from original estimates.

On March 22, Equinor announced it would suspend its $5 billion share buyback program due to the current oil price crisis.

Chevron to slash 2020 capex by 20% to $16 billion

California-based Chevron Corp. said March 24 it would cut capital expenditures for 2020 by $4 billion, or about 20%, to $16 billion and aims to reduce cash capital and exploratory expenditures by $3.3 billion, to $10.5 billion. The U.S. supermajor also said it will halt its $5 billion share buyback program and will slice run-rate operating costs by more than $1 billion by the end of the year.

Key to Chevron's new capex plan is trimming costs for its expansion in the U.S. Permian Basin. The company has reduced its Permian production guidance by 125,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, or 20%, since it plans to reduce spending in the region by 50% this year from $4 billion to $2 billion.

Suncor decreases 2020 capital program by 26%, extends projects timelines

Canada's Suncor Energy Inc. announced March 23 it would lower its 2020 capital program to between C$3.9 billion and C$4.5 billion, a decrease of C$1.5 billion, or 26%, from the midpoint of the original guidance range of C$5.4 billion to C$6.0 billion.

Suncor also slashed its total operating expenditures by more than C$1 billion, from C$11.2 billion of expenditures in 2019. Suncor decided to extend for up to two years the timelines for the cogeneration facility at the company's oil sands base plant, Forty Mile wind power project and some offshore developments.

Shell to cut 2020 spending to $20 billion or lower, suspend share buybacks

In light of the oil price crash, Royal Dutch Shell PLC said March 23 it will slash this year's capex to $20 billion if not lower, from an initial level of around $25 billion. The Anglo-Dutch major will also cut underlying operating costs by $3 billion to $4 billion per year over the next 12 months, and will suspend the next $1 billion tranche of its massive $25 billion share buyback program.

Total to reduce capex by more than $3 billion, halts buyback program

France's Total SA said March 23 it will trim organic capital expenditures this year by more than $3 billion and will suspend its $2 billion buyback program. The revised capex will reduce net investments for this year to less than $15 billion, with savings mostly in the form of short-cycle flexible capex.

Saudi Aramco will spend an average $5.3 billion less this year

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. said March 15 that its capital expenditures for the current year will run anywhere from $25 billion to $30 billion, down from $32.8 billion in 2019. The midpoint of the company's new range is down by an average of $5.3 billion from 2019 spending.

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