(Reuters) – ConocoPhillips (COP.N) slashed its 2017 capital spending by 4 percent on Thursday, the latest U.S. oil and natural gas producer to do so in reaction to depressed crude prices CLc1.
Conoco and peers had mapped out ambitious capital spending programs for 2017 early in the year, expecting oil prices to be higher than where they are today, just under $50 per barrel.
“This is the right approach for value creation in the upstream sector, especially at a time of uncertainty in the commodity markets,” Conoco Chief Executive Ryan Lance said in a statement.
Conoco now plans to spend $4.8 billion this year, down from a prior estimate of $5 billion. The cut came after Conoco’s quarterly loss more than tripled despite recent asset sales.
Shares of the Houston-based company rose 0.2 percent to $43.79 in premarket trading.
The company posted a net loss of $3.4 billion, or $2.78 per share, compared to a net loss of $1.1 billion, or 78 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.
Excluding one-time items, the company earned 14 cents per share. By that measure, analysts expected a loss of 2 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Production fell 8 percent to 1.4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Conoco sold its assets in the Barnett shale of Texas last month for about $305 million, part of a plan to shed its exposure to natural gas.
Conoco also sold its Canadian oil sands and natural gas assets in March to Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE.TO), in a cash-and-stock deal with about $13.3 billion. The price was widely seen as high, a boon for Conoco.
Conoco is the latest international oil major to pull back from northern Alberta’s oil sands, which is among the most costly locations in the world to develop.
Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Nick Zieminski