ConocoPhillips unveiled a 10-year plan on Nov. 19 and said it would target free cash flow of about $50 billion with annual capital spending averaging less than $7 billion over the next decade.
The Houston-based company’s shares rose a fraction to $56.80 early Nov. 19.
The largest U.S. independent crude producer said it expects to spend about $20 billion on dividends and $30 billion in share buybacks in 10 years.
The announcement comes as investors, frustrated by weak commodity prices for five years, have been pressuring oil and gas companies to cut back on drilling and shore up cash to return to shareholders.
“We challenge any other [exploration and production] company to show you a plan like this,” CEO Ryan Lance told analysts and investors at a meeting in Houston on Nov. 19.
The company expects several decades of lackluster oil prices, with U.S. oil to average between $40 to $70 per barrel through the 2050s. Ride sharing, electric vehicles and urbanization will impact demand for the company’s products, but Executive Vice President Matt Fox said oil and gas will remain an important part of the energy mix through 2050.
The company also forecast annual production growth averaging more than 3% from 2020 to 2029.
ConocoPhillips, which has been divesting assets to focus on its U.S. shale base, had in October posted a quarterly profit that beat analysts’ estimates, primarily as higher shale production offset lower crude prices and higher exploration costs.
In the next three months, a lower cost structure by oil and gas companies may be needed but without hindering the ability to scale production later, Deloitte said.
Houston-based Hi-Crush entered into a restructuring support agreement with certain noteholders for a prearranged plan, which, if implemented, will result in the elimination of approximately $450 million of unsecured note debt.
“I don’t think I’ll see 13 million bbl/d again in my lifetime,” Parsley Energy CEO Matt Gallagher says.