Encana CEO Doug Suttles. Image courtesy of Encana/Youtube.

Encana slashed its 2016 capital spending program by 25 percent on Monday and cut its dividend by more than three-quarters.

The company plans to spend between $1.5 billion to $1.7 billion on capital spending next year, about $600 million less than its 2015 capital budget.

About 95 percent of the 2016 budget has been allocated to Encana’s core four assets, with 50 percent of those funds being directed to the Permian Basin in Texas.

The Calgary-based company expects production from its four core assets to grow 12 percent year-over-year in 2016 and average between 260,000 to 280,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The company’s full-year 2016 corporate costs, such as interest and administrative expenses, are expected to be over 10 percent less than in 2015, excluding one-time outlays, restructuring costs and long-term incentives.

Encana is also planning to reset its annualized 2016 dividend to $0.06 per share, or about $50 million per year.

The reset will slash the company’s dividend by about 79 percent, Reuters said.

The company will also discontinue its dividend reinvestment plan discount after December 31, 2015.

As a result of the moves, the combined cash and cash equivalent outlay associated with the dividend is expected to be reduced by over $185 million per year.

“This reset better aligns the dividend with cash flow and recognizes the importance of the balance sheet and the very high quality investment options in Encana’s portfolio,” the company said.

The 2016 capital program is based on assumptions of $50 per barrel WTI oil prices and NYMEX natural gas prices of $2.75 per million British thermal units.

The company plans to fund the program through expected cash flow of $1.0 billion to $1.2 billion along with existing credit facilities.

CEO Doug Suttles also confirmed that the company has laid off about 600 staff members, or 19 percent of its workforce, since the beginning of this year, the Globe and Mail said.


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