ConocoPhillips CEO: 2012 Capex Will Be $15.5B to $16B

ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Ryan Lance on Thursday said he expects the company's total capital spending to be between $15.5 billion and $16 billion this year--compared with the $16 billion he forecast at the end of the second quarter.

"Where we end up in this range depends on whether or not we find attractive opportunities to that unconventional acreage," he told analysts on a conference call. "We continue to be opportunistic in the market for acreage that fits well in our portfolio."

The company expects production in Texas's Eagle Ford shale, one of the oil-rich unconventional formations ConocoPhillips is focusing on, to peak at 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day next quarter. This quarter, Eagle Ford production peaked at 86,000 barrels a day, a record for the company. Average production in the Eagle Ford during the quarter was 76,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Mr. Lance said the company's international operations are strong, including a return to preconflict production in Libya.


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