Saturday, March 5, 2016

Canadian Natural cuts 2016 budget as oil-price view darkens

CALGARY, Alberta (Bloomberg) -- Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. lowered its 2016 capital budget about 22%, joining peers in clawing back investments as price assumptions fall in the worst oil rout in a generation.

Canada’s largest heavy-crude producer now plans to spend C$3.5 billion ($2.6 billion) to C$3.9 billion this year, down from November’s estimate of between C$4.5 billion and C$5 billion, the Calgary-based company said Thursday in a statement. Analysts expect U.S. crude to average about $39.50/bbl in 2016, according to the median of 37 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Canadian Natural is among energy companies shelving projects and cutting costs to withstand an oil-price slump that’s lasted more than 20 months. The company, also the nation’s biggest gas producer, is contending with a drop in prices for that fuel as well. Canadian Natural continues to expand its Horizon oil-sands project to a target of 250,000 bpd in 2018 as it stays focused on long-term profits.
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