Noble Energy sharply reducing capital expenditures

In response to the current global macroeconomic and commodity outlook, the U.S.-based oil and gas company Noble Energy has announced its decision to reduce its 2020 expenditure guidance by $550 million. 

With this decision to cut its spending budget for 2020 as a result of oil market volatility, Noble Energy has joined its peers Apache and Murphy Oil.

David L. Stover, Noble Energy’s Chairman, and CEO, commented, “In light of the recent commodity price downturn, we are sharply reducing capital expenditures. Deferring activity until commodity prices recover protects our investment returns, maintains free cash flow and strengthens the balance sheet.

“While this is a challenging environment, Noble Energy is well-positioned to achieve attractive long-term returns for our shareholders. The impact of bringing a mega-project like Leviathan on production is evident today, as it provides greater certainty of cash flows, supports strong financial liquidity and improves our annual production decline profile.”

As compared to its earlier announced guidance, the company is immediately acting to reduce its planned 2020 capital expenditures by approximately $500 million, or nearly 30%, to now range between $1.1 and $1.3 billion for the year.

In addition, Noble Energy has also identified more than $50 million in reductions through operating and other cash costs. The company is monitoring the macroeconomic and commodity environments and will continue to act prudently to address the evolving business conditions.

Approximately 80% of the capital reduction will occur in the U.S. onshore business where the company has significant flexibility in drilling and completion activity, with the majority of contractual arrangements on a well to well basis. More than half of these reductions will occur in the Delaware Basin.

Internationally, the company has identified approximately $100 million in capital reductions coming from major project execution, deferral of non-critical spend into future years and the exploration program.

Noble Energy is continuing to move forward the Alen gas monetization project in Equatorial Guinea for the first production in early 2021 and will complete pipeline expansion work in Israel.

The company had $4.4 billion in financial liquidity at the end of February 2020. In addition, Noble Energy has no significant debt maturities before late 2024.

For 2020, approximately 60 percent of the company’s revenue base is protected through hedging contracts (for oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids) or long-term contractual pricing arrangements (Israel production).