The oil crash is already forcing Big Oil to consider hunkering down.
Chevron, America's No. 2 oil company, said Tuesday it is considering spending cuts that would lower its short-term oil production.
The oil giant said in a statement it's "already sharpening our focus" on reducing costs by targeting $2 billion in savings. Chevron (CVX) did not say whether that would include layoffs.
Monday's collapse in oil prices -- crude's worst day since 1991 -- will undoubtedly cause companies to abandon some shale oil projects that have suddenly become unprofitable. Chevron has spent heavily in recent years to build a powerful presence in the Permian Basin shale oilfield of West Texas.
"The impact of lower prices is clearly felt across the US energy industry," Chevron said. "It is difficult to predict how this will play out in the weeks and months ahead. Chevron has seen similar downturns before and is well positioned for a low price environment."
Wall Street seemed less certain of that Monday.
Chevron plummeted 15%, its worst day since the Black Monday crash of October 1987 as part of a sharp decline throughout the energy industry. Chevron climbed 5% Tuesday as oil prices jumped 8%.