Canada's Crescent Point to lower 2020 spending, expects flat production

(Reuters) - Canadian oil and gas producer Crescent Point Energy Corp CPG.TOCPG.N said on Tuesday in 2020 it would spend less and keep production roughly flat amid increased pressure for better returns from investors.

North American producers are forced to focus on cleaning up their balance sheets instead of spending on drilling more as the industry struggles with volatile commodity prices amid a glut of shale oil and global trade uncertainties.

Alberta-based producers, such as Crescent, have also been hit by production curtailments due to a bottleneck in pipeline capacity crippling transportation and leading to record discounts on oil.

Crescent said 2020 annual production was likely to be in the range of 140,000 to 144,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d). The range is unchanged from last year after incorporating about 30,000 boe/d of dispositions executed in 2019.

The company also sees capital expenditure of about C$1.10 billion to C$1.20 billion in 2020, below its latest forecast range of C$1.225 to C$1.275 billion for last year.

It said it will seek future opportunities to optimize its portfolio after it exited its positions in the Uinta Basin in Utah and some assets in southeast Saskatchewan for about C$912 million last year.

Crescent also said it plans to renew its share buy back program in the first quarter of 2020.

Reporting by Shradha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Shinjini Ganguli