Image courtesy of ConocoPhillips.

ConocoPhillips cut its 2015 capital spending budget by $2 billion Thursday after reporting a quarterly earnings loss.

The Houston-based company’s capital spending plan was revised down to $11.5 billion from $13.5 billion.

The cost cuts will mainly come from onshore drilling and exploration deferrals in the continental United States.

The company expects the spending cuts to lower its output growth to 2 to 3 percent from its initial guidance of 3 percent.

“We are responding decisively to a weak price outlook in 2015 by exercising our capital and balance sheet flexibility. In this environment our priorities are to protect our dividend and base production, stay on track for cash flow neutrality in 2017, and preserve future opportunities,” chairman and CEO Ryan Lance said.

ConocoPhillips reported a fourth quarter net loss of $39 million, or $0.03 per share, down from earnings of $2.5 billion, or $2.00 per share, for the same period in 2013.

Analysts had expected a $0.59 per share profit.

Excluding special items the company earned $0.7 billion, or $0.60 per share, down significantly from its fourth quarter 2013 adjusted earnings of $1.7 billion, or $1.40 per share.


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