February 17, 2016Volume 6, No. 1
docFinder alert

Majors release conservative 2016 outlook

Chevron & Shell look to outspend XOM 


Capex down 25%


February 2, 2016

Full Presentation


Capex down 21%


January 29, 2016

Full Presentation

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We are one month into 2016 and while the industry has been challenged, it has responded admirably with resiliency and adaptability. With prices still in the doldrums, companies continue to reduce costs and be more critical of their capital spending—exploration costs, overhead and now dividends continue to be put under the microscope. Additionally, projects that do not meet the economic requirements for the time are being delayed or canceled. This week we began to see the majors’ take on the current environment through the release of their initial capex projections for 2016. This docFinder Alert presents these newly announced initial projections and compares them to previous guidance using docFinder’s historical archives.The overall trend is one of prudency with cuts to exploration budgets ranging from 5% (RDS) to over 50% (COP, APC) from 2015 numbers.


ExxonMobil had its Q4 earnings conference call Feb. 2, announcing its 2016 capex of $23.2B (top left). At this time last year the company projected spending of $34B across all business lines, calling for reduced upstream spending and dedicating more resources to downstream investments, but actual spending came in 8% below. The drop to $23.2B in 2016 represents an additional 25% decrease from Exxon’s initial guidance presented during 1Q15. As one of the largest public companies in the world, Exxon is dedicated to preserving its dividend. The company recently announced that it would maintain its dividend of $0.73/share for Q1; the dividend has been maintained since it was raised from $0.69 after 1Q15.

Chevron is also cutting spending. In a surprising twist, the company is looking to invest about $3B more than XOM, estimating capex of $25-28B compared to XOM’s $23.2B. CVX’s conservation strategy prioritizes established, safe projects resulting in minimal production growth estimates of 0-4% over 2015’s 2.6 MMboe/d.

PLS docFinder makes it easy to stay up to date with the latest industry releases, putting the newest industry presentations and the data therein at your fingertips. The comprehensive document processing enables users to search by data tags such as Capex and F&D Costs to quickly bypass the tedium of hunting down these key slides, making it an essential tool in any industry professional’s arsenal.

More HOT slides and data below.
Shown below are more hot slides from PLS’s docFinder database database from select other leading majors including Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips and Anadarko

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featured.slides from docFinder

Slide Slide Slide Slide

$33 Billion


February 4, 2016

$17-19 Billion


February 2, 2016

$6.4 Billion


February 4, 2016

Cutting 50%


February 2, 2016

Shell is also reducing exploration capital as it finalizes its merger with BG, but it is doing so on a much smaller scale than its peers by cutting capital only 5% vs. 2015 spend of $29B. The bulk of Shell’s budget will focus on select projects with the BG portfolio adding significant growth to deepwater and integrated gas business lines, which account for almost a third of planned investment. As of Monday February 15th, Shell and BG completed their merger on schedule and became the world’s second largest integrated energy company, overtaking Chevron.

BP went into 2015 with $20B capex guidance and ended up spending $18.7B, 6.5% less than scheduled. The British major is looking to continue disciplined spending and flat production levels—initial 2016 guidance calls for organic capital spending in the lower end of the $17-19B range first published in October 2015.With an ongoing reduction in operating cash costs and third-party spend, the company is basing its estimate on $60/bbl Brent and looking to achieve a cost base below that in order to free up cash flow.

ConocoPhillips is making the most drastic capex cuts of this group, a 52% decrease in investment from its 2015 guidance this time last year of $13.5B. The company quickly cut that to $11.5B after Q1 and to $11B following Q2 (final spend for 2015 was $10.1B). Similarly, 2016’s current guidance of $6.4B is a $700MM adjustment from December when planned spend was $7.7B. The most telling statistic for 2016 exploration is the cut to three rigs in the Lower 48 for the company as it adjusts to a new $45/bbl breakeven price.

During 2015, Anadarko spent $5.36 million, which is $250 million less than its initial guidance. Yet sales volumes of 294 MMboe surpassed the upper end of guidance by 8 MMboe. However, in 2016 APC is cutting back. Capex will be 50% less at $2.8 billion and production will be flat vs. 2015, with significant cuts in US onshore investment. Unlike Exxon, Anadarko is cutting it dividend by 81% to 27 cents per common share. The move will save APC about $450MM annually.


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Full Presentation