Equinor reduces shareholder dividend as market enters crisis mode

NORWEGIAN oiler Equinor announced overnight it will reduce its cash dividend to shareholders for the first quarter of the year by 67% to US$0.09 per share, given the “unprecedented market conditions”.
Equinor reduces shareholder dividend as market enters crisis mode Equinor reduces shareholder dividend as market enters crisis mode Equinor reduces shareholder dividend as market enters crisis mode Equinor reduces shareholder dividend as market enters crisis mode Equinor reduces shareholder dividend as market enters crisis mode

Cash neutral at an average oil price of US$25/bbl

Mark Tilly

Journalist

Mark Tilly

 

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Equinor's dividend policy stipulates the board of directors can take expected cash flow, capital expenditure plans, and financial planning into account when deciding on upcoming dividend payments. 

"Equinor has already taken forceful actions to strengthen our liquidity and financial resilience under the current circumstances," Equinor CEO Eldar Saetre said. 

"In this extraordinary market situation, we have now also decided to reduce the cash dividend for the first quarter 2020 by 67%, compared to the proposed fourth quarter 2019 dividend."

The company has implemented a slew of measures to insulate itself  from volatile market conditions including suspending share buy-backs, launching a bond issuance of US$5 billion and cutting US$3 billion in spending across capital expenditure, operating costs, exploration and expense reductions. 

Equinor said it can be cash flow neutral before capital distribution in 2020 with an average oil price of around US$25 per barrel for the remainder of the year. 

Separately, the company announced its exploration vice president, Tim Dodson, will step down and take on the role of strategy execution in global strategy and business development from June 1. 

Tore Loseth has been appointed to take on Dodson's previous role. 

"I take this opportunity to thank Tim for his long-standing contribution to corporate leadership and the Executive Committee of Equinor," Saetre said. 

"I'm glad we can continue to capitaliSe on Tim's deep experience and broad understanding of Equinor in his new role in the GSB strategy team and I wish him all the best." 

 

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