Houston’s ConocoPhillips reported a nearly $3.1 billion quarterly profit on Tuesday that spiked more than 60 percent from a year prior, but the big jump benefited from about $2 billion in proceeds from the recent sale of its North Sea business in the United Kingdom.
The largest independent oil and gas producer said its adjusted earnings minus the asset sale and other special items came in at $914 million.
ConocoPhillips’ $10.1 billion in quarterly revenues dipped less than 1 percent from a year prior, but that also included the UK sale. ConocoPhillips’ revenues just from oil and gas sales and other operating revenues fell 18 percent from last year as crude prices plunged.
The Houston firm said its production from the top U.S. shale plays – the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford shale and North Dakota’s Bakken shale – jumped 21 percent from last year. Those three basins represent nearly 30 percent of ConocoPhillips’ total production. Other key regions include Alaska, western Canada, Australia, Norway, Qatar and Malaysia. ConocoPhillips also just sold a portion of its Australia business, but that deal hasn’t closed yet.
But ConocoPhillips’ Lower 48 earnings were only $26 million, which compares to more than $300 million from Alaska and more than $600 million from the Asia Pacific-Middle East region.
“This business is all about having a sustainable strategy with consistent execution,” said Ryan Lance, chairman and chief executive officer. “We believe ConocoPhillips offers both – a shareholder-friendly, returns-oriented value proposition and strong delivery on our commitments.
ConocoPhillips will announce a more thorough, 10-year financial plan in November.
Earlier this month, ConocoPhillips announced a nearly 40 percent increase in dividend payouts to investors to help instill confidence in the company on Wall Street amid subdued oil prices and a slowing energy sector.
To help counteract any downward trajectory, ConocoPhillips is flexing its financial muscle and emphasizing that it will continue to put its shareholders first even in the weaker oil price environment. In recent years, ConocoPhillips has focused on financial discipline and financial returns, shrinking the company in order to become more efficient and profitable.
This article first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more from the Houston Chronicle click here.