ConocoPhillips Profits Rise

Houston, Texas-based ConocoPhillips posted a 41% profit increase to exceed analyst estimates after gains in petroleum prices made up for a drop in production, Bloomberg news reported.

ConocoPhillips said its third-quarter net income of $5.19 billion, or $3.39 per share, compared to $3.67 billion ($2.23 per share) in the same quarter last year. Revenues were $70 billion, versus $46.1 billion a year ago.

CEO and Chairman Jim Mulva said Conoco’s U.S. operations were impacted by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike this last quarter, “but despite these impacts, our overall operating performance was good.

“Our upstream business continued to benefit from the strong commodity price environment and we produced 2.2 million BOE per day, including an estimated 0.4 million BOE per day from our LUKOIL Investment segment,” Mulva said. “In our downstream business, we benefited from stronger global marketing margins and were able to slightly improve our overall realized refining margin in spite of a decrease in global refining crack spreads. Our worldwide refining crude oil capacity utilization rate was 87%, reflecting the impact of hurricane-related downtime.

ConocoPhillips is first among the three biggest U.S. oil producers to report earnings for the third quarter, Bloomberg reported. ExxonMobil is scheduled to release its results on Oct. 30 while Chevron Corp. will report the day after that.

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