Hess CEO John Hess. Image courtesy of Hess.

Hess cut its capital expenditure by 16 percent Tuesday and trimmed Bakken spending by 20 percent as it braces for prolonged oil price weakness.

The company plans to spend $1.8 billion in Bakken this year, down from $2.2 billion last year.

Hess plans to operate an average of 9.5 rigs in Bakken, down by nearly half from the company’s 17 operated rigs in 2014, and bring 210 new operated wells online in the play, down from 238 wells last year.

About $1.45 billion of Hess’s Bakken spend is earmarked for drilling and completion activities, pad level facilities and low pressure gathering lines with $350 million planned for major infrastructure projects.

The company will also spend $290 million to drill 20 to 25 wells in the core of the wet gas window of Ohio’s Utica shale play, a steep drop from the $500 million Hess spent in the play last year.

“Hess has some of the best acreage in the Bakken, and we will continue to drill in the core of the play which offers the most attractive returns,” Hess President Greg Hill said.

Hill added the company’s drilling and production activities will pick up when oil prices begin to recover.

The company will spend $4.7 billion on its capital and exploratory budget, a 16 percent drop from 2014.

New York-based Hess has budgeted $2.1 billion for unconventional shale projects and $1.2 billion for production.

The company will spend $1.0 billion for development projects and $400 million on exploration.

“Our company is well positioned to manage through the current price environment, with a strong balance sheet and resilient portfolio,” CEO John Hess said.


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