ConocoPhillips profits drop in Q3

ConocoPhillips_Q3_1

ConocoPhillips, the first of the three largest U.S. oil companies to reveal third-quarter results, reported earnings of US$2.6 billion which is a 16 per cent fall compared with third-quarter 2010 earnings of US$3.1 billion.

This revealed how concerns about global growth will impact recent results which have produced soaring profits due to high oil prices.

“This quarter’s results benefitted from improved market conditions,” said Jim Mulva, chairman and chief executive officer.

“While commodity prices were higher, E&P production was lower, mainly due to suspended operations in Bohai Bay and Libya. Our downstream business ran well, allowing us to capture stronger refining margins.”

E& P

Exploration and Production’s (E&P) third-quarter 2011 adjusted earnings were higher, compared with the same period in 2010, primarily due to stronger commodity prices, partially offset by higher taxes and lower volumes. Excluding the impact of dispositions and the civil unrest in Libya, production was 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day lower than the third quarter of 2010.

R&M

Refining and Marketing’s (R&M) adjusted earnings in the third quarter of 2011 were $928 million higher than the corresponding period of 2010, primarily due to improvement in global refining and marketing margins. R&M’s reported earnings were $521 million higher than the prior year.

Following other energy companies that have separated their exploration and production businesses from the rest of their operations, Conoco had unveiled plans in July to split its refining and production arms into two separate companies. The break up is expected to be completed in the first half of next year.

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