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Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

ExxonMobil is slashing planned capital spending this year by 30%, with the biggest reductions coming in the U.S. shale patch, the company announced on Tuesday.

Why it matters: It's the latest sign of how oil producers large and small are getting hit by the price collapse and demand cratering due to COVID-19.

Driving the news: Exxon now expects capital spending this year to be roughly $23 billion instead of $33 billion.

  • "The largest share of the capital spending reduction will be in the Permian Basin, where short-cycle investments can be more readily adjusted to respond to market conditions, while preserving value over the long term," the company said.

The big picture: It follows spending rolled out by Shell, BP, Chevron and others in recent weeks. The announcement adds specifics to Exxon's warning in mid-March that it intended to significantly cut back this year.

The intrigue: Per Bloomberg, "The scope of the cuts exceeded the expectations of some analysts including those at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. who forecast a reduction to $29 billion."

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.