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    Norway's Equinor Halts $5bn Buyback Scheme


The company also said it had begun taking steps to slash spending.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Norway's Equinor Halts $5bn Buyback Scheme

Norway's Equinor announced on March 22 it had suspended its share buy-back programme in response to testing market conditions, adding that it had begun taking steps to reduce its operating costs, capital expenditure and exploration spending.

"As a result of significant improvements in recent years, Equinor has a strong balance sheet and is in a good position to deal with the current circumstances, as well as uncertainties in front of us," Equinor CEO Eldar Saetre said in a statement. "We are now taking actions to remain resilient in a period of low prices, volatility and market uncertainty, in line with our contingency plans. In this situation, with the spread of Covid-19 and low commodity prices, we are suspending buy-back under the share buy-back programme until further notice."

Equinor announced plans in September to buy back $5bn of shares by the end of 2022. It completed the first $1.5bn tranche in early February, and the second, worth $675mn, had been due to take place between May 18 and October 28 this year.

The company added it would present an updated market outlook by the end of this month.