Mar 25, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Equinor is the latest oil giant to cut back amid coronavirus price decline

Photo: CARINA JOHANSEN/NTB Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

Equinor is the latest oil-and-gas giant to announce it will cut spending in response to coronavirus and the steep decline in oil prices.

Driving the news: The Norway-based multinational said Wednesday morning that its planned 2020 capital spending will now be around $8.5 billion this year, down from $10 billion to $11 billion.

  • The company's action plan includes cutbacks to exploration and operating costs.

Why it matters: It shows how companies are drastically overhauling their plans to cope with the new market landscape.

  • Equinor said its overall goal is to be cash-flow neutral for 2020 with Brent crude oil prices averaging around $25-per-barrel for the remainder of the year.
  • Brent is trading in the $26-per-barrel range on Wednesday morning.

What's next: U.S. activities are in the crosshairs. "Within U.S. onshore activities, drilling and completion activities are being halted to produce the volumes at a later period, reducing investments significantly for 2020," the company said.

  • Reuters has more on the plans here.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reviewed an internal email from the huge U.S.-based producer Occidental Petroleum which reveals plans to cut salaries for U.S. employees by up to 30% to save money.

  • "Chief Executive Vicki Hollub’s salary will be cut by 81% and the oil-and-chemical company’s top executives’ pay will be cut by an average of 68%, according to the email."

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The big picture: America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve was created in the 1970s to ensure the U.S. has oil in case of an emergency. Today, Trump is buying oil for the reserve because of an emergency.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 1,277,962 — Total deaths: 69,527 — Total recoveries: 264,048Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 337,646 — Total deaths: 9,648 — Total recoveries: 17,582Map.
  3. Federal government latest: White House adviser Peter Navarro battled Dr. Anthony Fauci in the Situation Room over the use of hydroxychloroquine.
  4. Trump latest: The pandemic may delay a Supreme Court case on the president's tax returns, sparing him from having to release them before the 2020 election.
  5. 2020 latest: Joe Biden says DNC may have to hold virtual convention.
  6. World update: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to the hospital as a "precautionary step."
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
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