January 12, 2015 / 10:44 AM / 4 years ago

Canadian Natural Resources cuts 2015 capex forecast by 28 pct

Jan 12 (Reuters) - Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, the country’s largest independent oil producer, cut its 2015 capital expenditure and production forecast as global oil prices continue to slump.

The company now plans to spend C$6.19 billion ($5.22 billion) in 2015, 28 percent lower than its earlier forecast of C$8.6 billion.

The company said the lower spending plans was primarily related to reduced drilling activity, echoing North American oil and gas producers who have scaled back spending plans due to weak oil prices.

Crude oil prices have more than halved since June due to oversupply, OPEC’s refusal to cut its output ceiling and weak demand from China and Europe.

Global oil and gas exploration companies are expected to cut capital expenditures 17 percent this year, according to a survey by Cowen and Company released on Wednesday.

Canadian Natural, which operates in Western Canada, the North Sea and offshore West Africa, also cut its 2015 total annual production forecast to 840,000 to 887,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) from 869,000 to 916,000 boepd. (bit.ly/14ofp30)

The company said it would defer capital expenditures of about C$470 million related to the Kirby North Phase 1 thermal in situ project in Alberta, until oil prices stabilize. ($1 = C$1.1873) (Reporting by Rama Venkat Raman and Ashutosh Pandey in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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