COVID-19: ExxonMobil evaluating "significant" near-term spending cuts

01:20 AM | March 17, 2020 | Robert Westervelt

ExxonMobil said late Monday that it is looking to reduce spending significantly as a result of market conditions caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and commodity price decreases.

“Based on this unprecedented environment, we are evaluating all appropriate steps to significantly reduce capital and operating expenses in the near term,” said Darren Woods, ExxonMobil chairman and CEO. “We will outline plans when they are finalized.” 

ExxonMobil had previously said that it expected capital and exploration expenditures of up to $33 billion in 2020, compared with capital and exploration spending of $31.1 billion last year. ExxonMobil’s chemical capital expenditures were $3.3 billion in 2019. It has not disclosed a 2020 capex forecast for chemicals. 

Woods said that ExxonMobil has faced numerous market downturns throughout its long history and has experience operating in a sustained low-price environment. “We remain focused on being a safe, low-cost operator and creating long-term value for shareholders,” Woods said. 

The company said it is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and has adjusted work arrangements to ensure a healthy work environment and support communities where it operates.