March 18, 2020 / 10:47 PM / 20 days ago

UPDATE 1-Canadian Natural Resources cuts 2020 spending by C$1 bln

(Adds details from statement, background)

March 18 (Reuters) - Canadian Natural Resources Ltd on Wednesday slashed its full-year capital expenditure budget by C$1.09 billion due to weakness in oil prices, but maintained its output forecast.

Canada’s biggest oil producer said it expects to spend about C$2.9 billion in 2020, lower than its earlier outlook of C$4 billion.

Oil producers have been scaling back spending since the last price crash in 2014, and the latest cuts come as the coronavirus outbreak crimps demand and a price war between top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia threatens to flood the oil markets.

North American oil and gas producers have cut full-year spending by about 30% on average, according to data compiled by Reuters.

Canadian Natural also announced a slew of compensation cuts for its executives, effective April. The annual salary for its president will be reduced by 20%, while those of other management committee members will be cut by 15%. The vice-president’s annual salary will be lowered by 12%.

The Calgary, Alberta-based company, however, stuck to its output forecast of 1,137,000 - 1,207,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2020.

Canadian Natural Resources also said its board has also agreed to reduce its annual cash retainer by 10%.

$1 = 1.4468 Canadian dollars Reporting by Shradha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.

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