02/12/2015 08:30 EST | Updated 04/14/2015 05:59 EDT

Husky Energy cuts up to $400M from capex, seeks at least $400M in other savings

CALGARY - Husky Energy (TSX:HSE) says it's reducing this year's capital budget by as much as $400 million and looking for up to $600 million in operational savings in response to the ongoing low-price environment for oil and gas.

The new capital plan for 2015 is for between $3 billion and $3.1 billion of spending on long-term growth projects, down from the previous $3.4 billion budget.

The integrated oil and gas company has a number of projects that are due to begin production in 2015 and 2016, including the Sunrise oilsands project in Alberta and the White Rose operation off Newfoundland's coast.

The Calgary-based company says it's also seeking between $400 million and $600 million of operational cost savings, mostly from its suppliers and contractors.

Husky didn't say how its cutbacks will affect its workforce but it said dividends to shareholders are unchanged.

Husky announced that it had a $603-million loss in the fourth quarter, mostly because of asset writedowns and inventory reductions. Excluding those, Husky's net earnings for the quarter was $147 million.

As with other oil and gas companies, Husky is adjusting to a dramatic decline in the global price for crude oil that began in the middle of the fourth quarter and continues into early 2015.

Crude oil has dropped to about US$50 a barrel from a summer peak of US$107 a barrel amid lower demand and higher supplies.