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BP and Equinor to hold spending steady despite oil price slump

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BP and Equinor to hold spending steady despite oil price slump
FILE PHOTO: A BP logo is seen at a petrol station in London January 15, 2015. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/File Photo   -   Copyright  Luke MacGregor(Reuters)
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EDINBURGH (Reuters) – The spending plans of oil majors BP <BP.L> and Equinor <EQNR.OL> are unaffected by the more than 25 percent drop in oil prices since early October, their CEOs said on Wednesday.

Oil and gas companies were boosted over the first nine months of the year by a recovery in crude prices as years of cost cuts started to kick in. But the drop in oil prices <LCOc1> from more than $85 a barrel in early October to around $60 this week has revived concerns over their long-term recovery.

“We have no plans to take down any projects because I don’t see a change in the mid-to-long-term outlook,” Equinor Chief Executive Eldar Saetre told Reuters on the sidelines of a carbon conference in Edinburgh.

He added that Equinor’s portfolio could generate cash at oil prices below $50 a barrel. In October Equinor cut its spending for 2018 to $10 billion from $11 billion through cost cuts.

BP chief Bob Dudley was similarly resolute.

“We’re planning the future of BP and always have through the cycle on $50 to $60 (a barrel), so it (the oil price) is not changing our capital investment plan. That hasn’t changed at all,” he told reporters in Edinburgh.

However, Dudley said the company might reprioritise some projects as a results of the slump in crude prices. BP said it would spend between $15 billion and $17 billion next year.

(Reporting By Ron Bousso and Shadia Nasralla; Editing by David Goodman)

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