ConocoPhillips Rakes in $5.2B for 3Q Net Income


ConocoPhillips has reported third-quarter net income of $5,188 million, or $3.39 per share. This compared with $3,673 million, or $2.23 per share, for the same quarter in 2007. Revenues were $70.0 billion, versus $46.1 billion a year ago.

"Our U.S. operations were impacted by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike during the quarter, but despite these impacts, our overall operating performance was good," said Jim Mulva, Chairman and CEO.

"Our upstream business continued to benefit from the strong commodity price environment and we produced 2.2 million BOE per day, including an estimated 0.4 million BOE per day from our LUKOIL Investment segment. In our downstream business, we benefited from stronger global marketing margins and were able to slightly improve our overall realized refining margin in spite of a decrease in global refining crack spreads. Our worldwide refining crude oil capacity utilization rate was 87 percent, reflecting the impact of hurricane-related downtime.

"We generated $7.5 billion of cash from operations during the quarter. This enabled us to invest $4.0 billion in exploring for and developing oil and natural gas supplies, enhancing refining capabilities, and fostering emerging technologies. It also enabled us to repurchase $2.5 billion of ConocoPhillips common stock and pay $0.7 billion in dividends. We ended the quarter with debt of $22.1 billion and a debt-to-capital ratio of 19 percent." 

Exploration and Production (E&P)

Third-quarter financial results: E&P third-quarter net income was $3,928 million, compared with $3,999 million in the previous quarter and $2,082 million in the third quarter of 2007.

The decrease from the second quarter of 2008 was primarily due to lower crude oil and natural gas prices, partially offset by a net benefit from asset rationalization efforts, favorable foreign exchange impacts, and lower production taxes. The increase from the third quarter of 2007 was primarily due to higher commodity prices, partially offset by higher production taxes, increased operating costs, and lower volumes.

Daily production from the E&P segment, including Canadian Syncrude, averaged 1.75 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day, similar to both the previous quarter and the third quarter of 2007. When compared with the previous quarter, production from new developments in the United Kingdom, Russia and Norway largely offset planned and unplanned downtime, which included hurricane disruptions in the U.S. Lower 48, as well as normal field decline. The production impact from hurricane disruptions was approximately 17,000 BOE per day.

When compared with the third quarter of 2007, production from new developments in the United Kingdom, Russia, Indonesia, Norway and Canada was slightly less than impacts from normal field decline, unplanned downtime, and production sharing contracts.

Before-tax exploration expenses were $267 million in the third quarter of 2008, compared with $288 million in the previous quarter and $218 million in the third quarter of 2007.

Nine-month financial results: E&P net income for the first nine months of 2008 was $10,814 million, compared with $2,007 million during the first nine months of 2007. Nine-month 2007 earnings adjusted for the Venezuela impairment were $6,519 million. The increase from the nine-month 2007 adjusted earnings was primarily due to higher commodity prices, partially offset by higher production taxes, lower volumes, increased operating costs, and a lower net benefit from asset rationalization efforts.

Mulva concluded, "We recently announced our plan to create a long-term Australasian natural gas business with Origin Energy focused on coalbed methane production and liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing and sales. This joint venture leverages ConocoPhillips' strengths and experience in project management; coalbed methane; and LNG technology, operations and marketing. It also better balances ConocoPhillips' oil and gas resource mix, and our long-term production growth is expected to benefit from a steady, secure source of resource additions. With the transaction expected to close in the fourth quarter, we look forward to working with Origin in delivering a valuable energy resource to customers.

"We also recently announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with JSC National Company KazMunayGas (KMG) and Mubadala Development Company PJSC to negotiate terms for the exploration and development of the 'N' Block, located offshore Kazakhstan, under a new subsoil use contract. ConocoPhillips looks forward to establishing a major new exploration presence in Kazakhstan, and we are pleased to participate with KMG and Mubadala in this world-class exploration project.

"In terms of the fourth quarter, we anticipate the company's E&P segment production will be higher than the third quarter. We expect full-year 2008 production to be slightly below 1.8 million BOE per day due to the impact of higher prices on production-sharing-contract volumes and lost production associated with Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. We anticipate exploration expenses to be in the range of $400 million for the quarter."