The world’s biggest oil and gas companies are cutting spending this year following a collapse in oil prices driven by a slump in demand because of the coronavirus crisis and a price war between top exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Cuts announced by eight major oil companies, including Saudi Aramco and Royal Dutch Shell, come to a combined $28 billion, or a drop of 20 percent from their initial spending plans of $142 billion, Reuters reported.
BP cut its 2020 spending plan by 25 percent and will reduce output from its U.S. shale oil and gas business.
Exxon Mobil said it would cut capital expenditure but has not given specific figures as yet.
Brazilian oil company Petrobras said it was dialling back short-term production, delaying a dividend payment and trimming its 2020 investment plan, among other measures aimed at reducing costs in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
Oil prices have slumped 65 percent since January to around $25 a barrel.
The combined debt of Chevron, Total, BP, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell stood at $231 billion at the end of in 2019, just shy of the $235 billion hit in 2016 when oil prices also tumbled below $30 a barrel.
Global spending on oilfield equipment and services this year will fall 21 percent from 2019 to $211 billion, the lowest level since 2005, according to a report to be released on Wednesday by consultancy Spears & Associates, as oil and gas producers slash spending.