Chevron tightens belt again with billions more in cuts

(Reuters) – U.S. oil major Chevron Corp on Thursday cut billions off its long-term capital and exploratory budget after a major restructuring of its operations in a bid to ride out a collapse in oil prices and preserve its dividend.

Reeling from a sharp decline in oil demand and revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chevron and other oil majors have written off billions in asset values this year, while slashing output and laying off staff to save money.

Chevron, which was among the first oil and gas majors to cut spending plans this year, said it expects total capital and exploratory budget through 2025 to be between $14 billion (10.44 billion pounds) and $16 billion. The earlier forecast was between $19 billion and $22 billion.

Despite the cut to the budget, the company expects to raise investments in key areas like the Permian basin, helped by an anticipated drop in capital needed for a major expansion in Kazakhstan.

The company also set the budget for next year at $14 billion, the same as 2020, and kept aside $11.5 billion for exploration and production related activities. Its downstream refining and related operations were allocated $2.1 billion.

In contrast with Chevron, which has been praised for its capital discipline, its main U.S. rival Exxon Mobil Corp on Monday said its spending next year will drop, but by 2025 it will boost expenditures above this year’s $23 billion level.

Chevron’s shares were up 1.2% at $90.93 in premarket trading.

Reporting by Shariq Khan in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham and Arun Koyyur


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