By Joe Carroll – Bloomberg News – October 28, 2015
The three biggest U.S. oil explorers to post earnings so far are bracing for another year of deep spending cuts as the slump in energy markets shows no signs of abating.
Hess Corp, Occidental Petroleum Corp. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp., the largest producer in Colorado, reported third-quarter losses as free-falling crude and natural gas prices choked cash flow, halted drilling projects and exacted billions of dollars in writedowns as once- prized oil fields dwindled in value.
For the $1.9 trillion-a-year oil industry, the bad news is just beginning. ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. crude producer, is expected to post its first third-quarter loss in more than a decade on Thursday. The Houston-based company’s bigger rivals, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., follow with their earnings the next day.
Oil executives are halting expensive projects that won’t bring returns for years and shunning peripheral opportunities seen as too much of a gamble after crude’s fall to $45 a barrel.
“We don’t think it makes sense to accelerate production in this environment,” Hess CEO John Hess said during a conference call with investors and analysts Wednesday.