BP cuts capital expenditure by 13% to seed price recovery
Prices rise after BP follows Chevron in cutting expenditure
Some investors are betting a floor has formed under the market’s seven-month-long rout
Oil giant BP has said it is to cut capital expenditure by 13 per cent to $20 billion in 2015.
Last week, Chevron announced a 13 per cent cut in capital expenditure to $35 billion.
“We’ve seen a lot of oil companies announce significant cuts in capacity expenditure and reductions in rig counts. What you’re getting at the moment is a paring back of expectations as a result of the measures being taken,” Mr Hewson said.
Brent crude oil futures were up $1.90 cents at $56.65 a barrel after the move was announced.
Prices jumped in the past two days after data showed the number of US oil drilling rigs had fallen the most in a week in nearly 30 years. Month-end covering by traders taking profits on short positions added to the rally.
Some investors are betting a floor has formed under the market’s seven-month-long rout, with signs that a fall in drilling activity at US shale deposits has raised concerns about future production.
“The seeds of an oil price recovery are being sown,” Bernstein analysts said in a note, warning of downside risk to oil supply in places such as the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea and Brazil, as companies cut costs in response to a fall of up to 60 per cent in oil prices since mid-June.
“Supply is unlikely to match expectations and demand will recover from last year’s lows,” the analysts said.
Others warned against getting too excited about falling rig counts in the United States. Analysts at Morgan Stanley said the relationship between rig count and production can be deceptive.
“Headline rig count declines may look impressive, but as we look at the data, much of the drop in oil rig count has come in low yielding vertical or directional rigs, i.e. the low-hanging fruit,” they said.
Two Opec delegates, one from a Gulf producer, said they could not rule out oil prices dropping to as low as $30 to $35, due to weak demand combined with global refinery maintenance in the first and second quarters of 2015.