Oil price fallout: Suncor cuts spending, employees as oil prices plunge

(Reuters) – Canada’s largest oil and gas company Suncor Energy Inc said on Tuesday it would cut about 1,000 employees and contractors, freeze hiring and slash C$1 billion (US$837 million) in capital spending in response to falling crude oil prices.

Suncor said it would also defer some capital projects that have not yet been sanctioned, such as MacKay River 2 in northern Alberta and the White Rose Extension offshore Atlantic Canada.

Production outlook for 2015 remained unchanged at 540,000 to 585,000 barrels per day.

“Today’s cuts are consistent with our commitment to spend within our means and maintain a strong balance sheet,” Suncor Chief Executive Steve Williams said in a statement.

“We will monitor the pricing environment and take further action as required”…

Related: Alberta expects C$500 mln budget shortfall this year

C$ holds near 5-1/2-year lows as oil dominates

Breakeven and shut-in prices for oil wells: (Reuters) – How low must oil prices fall before production starts to level off and even decline to rebalance the market?

There is no straightforward answer because it depends on so many factors most of which are uncertain or not observable…

…Shut-in prices refer to the minimum wellhead price operators need to continue producing from a hole which has already been drilled and completed and is in production… Shut-in prices are as low as $15 per barrel in North Dakota’s Bakken, according to North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources. Elsewhere, however, operating costs and corresponding shut in prices are much higher…

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