Conoco Phillips Separation - Upstream Review

By Eric Fox | July 18, 2011 AAA

Conoco Phillips' (NYSE:COP) plan to spinoff its downstream assets will leave the company as the largest pure play exploration and production company as measured by production or reserves. The company offers investors exposure to a range of oil and gas assets across the globe.
TUTORIAL: The Industry Handbook: The Oil Services Industry

What Do Investors Get?
Conoco Phillips reported total proved reserves of 8.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) at the end of 2010. These reserves are spread across various regions of the world, with 44% of proved reserves in the United States and 21% in Canada.

Conoco Phillips has nearly half of its United States proved reserves located in Alaska, where the company owns a 36.1% interest in the Prudhoe Bay field, the largest producing oil field in the United States. The field is operated by BP (NYSE:BP) and partly owned by Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX).

Conoco Phillips reported average production of 1.752 million BOE per day in 2010, with the United States and Canada accounting for 39% and 16% of production, respectively. Europe is another important area for Conoco Phillips and the company's operations in Europe generated 20% of production in 2010.

Capital Expenditures
Conoco Phillips has budgeted $28 billion in total capital in 2011 and 2012 to explore and develop its extensive portfolio, and an additional $14 billion to $15 billion each year through 2015.

Lower 48 States
One area that Conoco Phillips is working on in 2011 is the development of the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas, where the company has assembled a 220,000 net acre position. The company plans to spend $1.4 billion in capital here in 2011 and drill 144 gross wells during the year.

Conoco Phillips is also spending another $600 million in 2011 to develop other conventional and shale assets in the United States. These areas include the Bakken, Permian and Barnett areas.

Conoco Phillips has most of its Canadian production from legacy natural gas assets in Western Canada. The company is also involved in developing various oil sands projects in Alberta, and is part of the FCCL Oil Sands Partnership with Cenovus Energy (NYSE:CVE). The partnership has long-term plans to boost production from several different oil sands projects to 500,000 BOE per day.

Europe
In Europe, the company's assets are located mostly in the United Kingdom and Norway, with both of these areas generating approximately 175,000 BOE per day of production in 2010. The largest producing asset in Norway is from four fields that make up the Greater Ekofisk Area.

The Greater Ekofisk Area provided production of 93,000 BOE per day in 2011, with Conoco Phillips as the operator of the field. Both Statoil (NYSE:STO), Total (NYSE:TOT) and Eni (NYSE:E) also have an interest in this field.

The Bottom Line
Conoco Phillips will be an immense exploration and production company with assets diversified both geographically and by commodity after the spin off of the company's refining and marketing segment.

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