Comments from Eni’s Mideast chief this week that “we are reviewing all the projects that we have in the region… For projects that we have not commenced, we are deferring,” gave the starkest signal yet that the Gulf is not immune to the massive downturn in planned capital spending by majors and other large IOCs.

This comes as majors have raced to announce near-identical 20% cuts to their 2020 capital spending. Having only weeks ago flagged up capital plans that would collectively have seen the highest spending since 2015, the latest dramatic reversals will see the five majors spend just $90bn in 2020, the lowest in more than a decade (see charts). (CONTINUED - 2435 WORDS)