ConocoPhillips Says to Maintain Capex for Next 3 Years
KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 (Reuters) - ConocoPhillips expects to maintain capital expenditure for the next three years, after reducing it earlier this year due to the oil price drop, Chief Executive Ryan Lance told Reuters on Monday.
The largest independent U.S. energy company, which cut its 2015 capital budget by $2 billion to $11.5 billion in January, "should hold (investment) flat for three years", despite a slight recovery in oil prices, Lance said on the sidelines at the Asia Oil and Gas Conference in Kuala Lumpur.
Crude prices have almost halved from $115 a barrel in June 2014 as global supplies grew and demand was dented by slowing economies in places like China.
ConocoPhillips, like other exploration and production companies, has slashed capital spending in response to persistently lower oil prices, and is further reducing its rig count for fields in the lower 48 U.S. states.
Production is expected to fall in the third and fourth quarters in the company's shale fields, including the Permian in West Texas and the Bakken in North Dakota. But its total output was still expected to rise 2 percent to 3 percent for the year.
The company, which is focusing on the Eagle Ford shale in Texas and North Dakota's Bakken shale, has said it would also spend less on major projects, many of which are nearing completion.
ConocoPhillips is also preparing to sell noncore oil and gas producing acreage in the United States, in the latest sign that oil majors are becoming more accepting of lower oil prices.
(Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan, Florence Tan and Anuradha Raghu; Editing by Tom Hogue and Ed Davies)
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