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Husky chops $1.7B from 5-year plan, sets sights on investor returns

Husky Energy is cutting average annual capital spending by 10% to $3.15 billion under a new five-year plan unveiled ahead of its investor day in Toronto.

The Calgary-based company controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing had forecast capital spending of about $3.5 billion per year under its 2018-22 plan released last year.

It says it plans to spend about $1.7 billion less than that over the next five years to 2023, but will still grow production by about 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to between 400,000 and 415,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

In December, Husky took $300 million out of its 2019 capital spending budget to account for the impact of Alberta oil production curtailments and lower global oil prices.

It says it still expects to record capital spending of between $3.3 billion and $3.5 billion this year to take average production to between 290,000 and 305,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

CEO Rob Peabody says the company plans to focus on returns to shareholders by growing its cash dividends over the next five years.