ConocoPhillips posted a big $1.58 billion profit for the fourth quarter as the Houston oil giant continues to swing back to a moneymaking venture after the oil bust.
But most of those earnings came courtesy of an extra $900 million from the new U.S. tax law and a $337 million settlement with Ecuador. Without those extra dollars, ConocoPhillips still would have earned about $400 million versus a $35 million loss in the final quarter of 2016.
ConocoPhillips said it just paid $400 million to The Woodlands’ Anadarko Petroleum to acquire its 22 percent stake in Alaska’s Western North Slope development.
The Houston oil and gas producer also is using its extra profits to give more money back to shareholders, increasing the quarterly dividend from 26.5 cents a share up to 28.5 cents. ConocoPhillips is moving forward with a share buyback program and also announced the pay down of $2.25 billion in debt.
Apart from the $900 million in U.S. tax law benefits and the Ecuadorian settlement from the government’s previous confiscation of assets, Lance attributed most of the profits growth to the rising oil and gas prices worldwide.
This first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more click here.