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Continental Resources suspends dividend amid coronavirus woes

Storage tanks stand on a Continental Resources oil production site near Williston

(Reuters) - Continental Resources Inc <CLR.N> said on Tuesday it would suspend its quarterly dividend and cut its production for April and May 2020 by about 30%, as it grapples with a plunge in oil prices and demand amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

This follows the oil and gas producer's decision to slash its budget by about 55% to $1.2 billion last month and expectations that the cut would knock off less than 5% from its full-year production.

With global crude oil and product demand estimated to have been impacted by 30% due to COVID-19, Continental will continue to take decisive action to maximize cash flow generation and accomplish cost savings initiatives, Chief Executive Officer Bill Berry said in a statement

North American shale producers have cut planned expenditures and dividends, trying to shore up cash, as crude prices fall following a slump in demand due to the virus outbreak coinciding with moves by Saudi Arabia and Russia to flood markets with extra supply.

Peers Occidental Corp <OXY.N> and Apache Corp <APA.N> are among the drillers that have announced dividend cuts.

(Reporting by Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)