March 24, 2020 / 4:48 AM / 16 days ago

UPDATE 1-Suncor cuts 2020 production outlook, suspends share buyback amid virus outbreak

(Adds detail on oper. expenditures, background)

March 24 (Reuters) - Suncor Energy Inc on Monday cut its 2020 production outlook and suspended share repurchases for the year following the decline in crude oil prices and due to the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The second largest Canadian crude producer revised its 2020 production outlook to a range of 740,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) to 780,000 boe/d, down from its previous forecast of 800,000 boe/d to 840,000 boe/d. (reut.rs/39krGYg)

Suncor said capital expenditure for the year is now expected to be between C$3.9 billion ($2.70 billion) and C$4.5 billion, a decrease of C$1.5 billion compared to the midpoint of the previous 2020 capex forecast.

"We are adjusting our spending and operational plans to be prepared in the event the current business environment persists for an extended period of time," Chief Executive Officer Mark Little said.

Suncor is also reducing its total operating expenditures across the business by more than C$1 billion compared with C$11.2 billion of expenditures in 2019, the company said.

The company said only location essential personnel are working at Suncor sites and offices, due to the prevailing coronavirus situation.

Producers have been slashing spending and trimming output as a global oil surplus has been building. Demand has been falling as employees stay home, stores remain closed and governments limit travel to fight coronavirus.

$1 = 1.4419 Canadian dollars Reporting by Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Shailesh Kuuber

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