01/19/2015 08:57 EST | Updated 03/21/2015 05:59 EDT

Lightstream cuts off scaled-back monthly dividend in response to lower oil price

CALGARY - Lightstream Resources Ltd. (TSX:LTS) says its dividend will be suspended immediately as a result of the recent drop in oil prices.

The Calgary-based energy company most recently paid a monthly dividend of 1.5 cents per common share on Jan. 15 for the month of December, which was down from four cents per share paid Nov. 30 for the month of November and previous months.

Lightstream shares closed Friday at C$1.13 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, down from $2.37 at the beginning of December after the company announced the 62 per cent reduction in its monthly payout to shareholders.

The company is the latest oil and gas producer to reduce spending in response to a 40 per cent decline in crude prices since November and a 55 per cent decline since a recent peak in June.

Lightstream said Monday that it's now aiming to spend $95 million in the first half of 2015 on capital projects such as drilling in core areas.

The company didn't provide revised full-year guidance on capital spending for 2015 but said its cash flow will cover costs through June 2015 if the benchmark West Texas Intermediate price averages US$50 per barrel, which is down from the target price of US$55.91 per barrel used in Lightstream's guidance on Dec. 15.

In December's guidance, Lightstream said it was aiming at a 2015 capital spending range of US$190 million to $210 million funded through internal cash flow.