ConocoPhillips to Cut Capital Spending by 25% in 2016

ConocoPhillips estimated capital expenditures of $7.7 billion for next year, a 25% decline from the reduced levels the oil major expects to spend for 2015. The exploration-and-production company also forecast that its 2016 operating costs, excluding certain items, will decline by $500 million from expected adjusted 2015 operating expenses of $8.2 billion. Total operating costs are expected to come in at $7.7 billion next year. During October, Conoco had trimmed its 2015 spending plans again after reporting a wider-than-expected loss for its third quarter. At the time, Conoco projected 2015 capital spending of $10.2 billion, down from its prior guidance of $11 billion. It also lowered its operating cost outlook to $8.2 billion from $8.9 billion. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ryan Lance said in prepared remarks Thursday that the company's plan for next year highlights actions Conoco accelerated over the past year to position the company for low and volatile prices. Conoco and other major oil companies have been cutting costs and capital spending plans in response to an extended downturn in prices for crude. On Wednesday, Chevron Corp. projected capital spending plans for 2016 of $26.6 billion, which the oil giant said is 24% below expected capital and exploratory spending this year. Conoco plans to provide more details about its spending plans during a conference call set for Thursday at 10 a.m. ET.