Major U.S. oil and gas producers made steeper cuts to their annual capital expenditure targets in 2016, their second straight year of reduced spending, as they attempt to cope with a slump in oil prices that began in mid-2014.
Up to Wednesday's close, U.S. crude prices had fallen more than 52 percent since June 2014, after factoring in a 9 percent rise on Wednesday on news of an OPEC deal to cut output for the first time since 2008.
Global exploration and production spending is expected to fall by 26 percent in 2016 to below $400 billion for the first time since 2009, with the most severe cuts being made by North American producers, according to Evercore ISI data.
The top 25 U.S. oil companies by output have reduced their 2016 budgets by a combined $54 billion, or 40 percent, according to a Reuters analysis, much steeper than a 29 percent cut last year.
Devon Energy Corp has slashed its 2016 capital budget by about $4 billion, or 72 percent, the biggest cut among global independents, while Whiting Petroleum Corp axed its budget by $1.93 billion, or 78 percent, the biggest among U.S. shale-focused companies.
(Compiled by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)