The Last Days Of Conoco Phillips

By Eric Fox | April 30, 2012 AAA

Conoco Phillips (NYSE:COP) reported the company's last full quarter as an integrated oil operator as the company is set to complete the spinoff of its non upstream operations into a separate company on May 1, 2012.

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First Quarter of 2012
Conoco Phillips reported oil and gas production of 1.64 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day in the first quarter of 2012, down from 1.7 million BOE in the same quarter of 2011.

Conoco Phillips results were impacted by asset divestitures and the suspension of production at the Peng Lai field in China. The company reported that oil and gas production increased by 9,000 BOE per day from last year's first quarter if these items are excluded.

In June 2011, Conoco Phillips reported several incidents at offshore platforms in the Peng Lai field that resulted in the seepage of oil and other fluids into the surrounding waters. Production at the field was suspended by the Chinese government due to what it considered a slow response by the company.

Conoco Phillips operates the Peng Lai field and owns a 49% interest here. Cnooc Ltd. (NYSE:CEO) is also involved and owns the balance of the field.

Conoco Phillips exploration and production segment provided the overwhelming majority of earnings in the first quarter of 2012. The company reported GAAP earnings of $2.55 billion in this segment in the quarter, compared to total company earnings of $2.94 billion.

SEE: Oil And Gas Industry Primer

Conoco Phillips saw the resumption of oil and gas production from Libya during the first quarter of 2012 and reported production of 36,000 BOE per day from here in the most recent quarter.

Conoco Phillips is a member of the Waha Group, which holds a concession area comprising 13 million acres in Libya. Production from Libya was suspended during the civil war in 2011, and resumed in 2012. Conoco Phillips and Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) each own a 16.3% working interest in the Waha Group, along with Hess Corporation (NYSE:HES), which holds a 8.2% working interest.

Conoco Phillips continued to ramp up development of various unconventional resource plays in the United States, including the Eagle Ford Shale and Bakken play. The company reported current production of approximately 135,000 BOE per day from these and several other areas in the onshore United States.

Other companies that are developing unconventional resource plays include Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG), which is active in a number of different areas. The company recently reported three successful wells drilled into the Marmaton play in Oklahoma.

SEE: A Guide To Investing In Oil Markets

The Bottom Line
Conoco Phillips will soon be two separate companies as the long awaited spinoff of the company's downstream operations will occur on May 1. Investors can only hope that this reorganization will provide the increase in shareholder value that management has promised to investors.

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At the time of writing, Eric Fox did not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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