As energy prices plunge and oil majors tighten their belts, oil equipment and services exchange traded funds will take the brunt of the blow in the beleaguered sector.
On Tuesday, the Market Vectors Oil Service ETF (NYSEArca: OIH) fell 4.0%, iShares U.S. Oil Equipment & Services ETF (NYSEArca: IEZ) declined 3.8%, SPDR Oil & Gas Equipment & Services ETF (NYSEArca: XES) dropped 4.6% and PowerShares Dyanmic Oil and Gas Service ETF (NYSEArca: PXJ) retreated 3.9%.
In comparison, the broader Energy Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLE), which includes a 18.5% tilt toward the energy equipment & services sub-sector, was 1.7% lower Tuesday. Meanwhile, the United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO), which tracks West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, declined 4.3% and the United States Brent Oil Fund (NYSEArca: BNO), which tracks Brent crude oil futures, decreased 3.0%.
With crude oil futures hovering around $30 per barrel, major oil producers have been aggressively cutting back costs to muddle through the lean times. For instance, Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) has cut its drilling budget to a 10-year low and halted share buybacks after last year’s measures failed to counter a crash in energy prices, reports Joe Carroll for Bloomberg.
Exxon stated it will curb spending on rig leases, floating oil platforms, gas terminals and other projects by 25% this year to $23.2 billion, the lowest spending plan since 2007. The steepening cuts come off a 20% reduction in spending to $31 billion on drilling, floating platforms and gas-export terminals, compared to previous expectations of a 12% cut in spending last year.