OSLO (Reuters) – Norwegian oil firm Equinor will cut its quarterly dividend payment by two-thirds as part of an effort to preserve cash amid the collapse in crude prices, it said on Thursday.

The first-quarter cash payout to shareholders will be $0.09 per share, down from $0.27 in the fourth quarter of 2019, it added.

The company recently announced plans to cut investments, exploration drilling and operating costs by around $3 billion to help weather the crisis.

The company last month also suspended its $5 billion 2019-2022 share buyback plan and on April 1 raised $5 billion in a bond issue.

“The purpose of the combined efforts, including a reduction in dividend, is to secure balance sheet capacity, strengthen liquidity and support continued investments in a high-quality project portfolio,” Equinor said.

“This provides for long term competitive growth and shareholder value,” it added.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Muralikumar Anantharaman)