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Conocophillips CEO Ryan Lance. Image courtesy of MontanaJobsSummit/Youtube.

ConocoPhillips cut its 2015 capital budget to $13.5 billion Monday, a 20 percent drop from 2014 levels.

The new budget reflects lower spending on major projects and the deferral of spending on North American unconventional plays.

Conoco’s Lower 48 development program will continue to focus on the Eagle Ford and Bakken plays but “will defer significant investment” in emerging plays including the Permian, Niobrara, Montney and Duvernay plays.

Many of the projects that will be affected by the lower budget are already nearing completion, the Houston-based company said.

“We are fortunate to have significant flexibility in our capital program. Spending on several major projects has peaked and we will get the benefit of production uplift from those projects over the next few years,” Chairman and CEO Ryan Lance said.

Despite the spending cuts, Conoco expects production to grow by 3 percent in 2015 from continuing operations, excluding Libya.

“We are setting our 2015 capital budget at a level that we believe is prudent given the current environment,” Lance said.

About $4.8 billion in 2015 capital spending will be focused on the company’s sanctioned major projects, with $1.9 billion being allocated for base maintenance and corporate expenditures.

About $5 billion in capital spending will go towards developing drilling programs, down from $6.5 billion in 2014.

Exploration and appraisal programs will receive $1.8 billion from the 2015 budget.