Conoco News - 2009

News summaries from ConocoPhillips company press releases and from unaffiliated news agencies are provided below. The summaries are sorted by month and are further categorized as upstream news, downstream news, and business/finance news.

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January

• Upstream news:

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] approved a 2009 capital budget of $11.7 billion, including cash capital expenditures and capitalized interest. Loans to affiliates and contributions to fund an upstream business venture with EnCana add an additional $0.8 billion, bringing the total authorized capital program to $12.5 billion.

• Downstream news:

• Business/Finance news:

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] will release its fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday, January 28, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. The news release will be issued through Business Wire. A follow-up conference call with Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Mulva; President and Chief Operating Officer John Carrig; Senior Vice President, Finance, and Chief Financial Officer Sig Cornelius; and Investor Relations General Manager Gary Russell will be held Wednesday, January 28, at 11 a.m. Eastern.

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $31,764 million, or $21.37 per share. This compared with net income of $4,371 million, or $2.71 per share, for the same quarter in 2007. Revenues were $44.5 billion, versus $52.7 billion a year ago. As previously communicated, the company’s fourth-quarter 2008 results include certain items related to the substantial decline in global equity markets, commodity prices, and margins, as well as the company’s asset rationalization efforts and revised capital plans. These after-tax items were comprised of: a $25,443 million impairment of all Exploration & Production (E&P) segment goodwill; a $7,410 million impairment of the book value of the company’s investment in OAO LUKOIL (LUKOIL), reducing the book value to market value; other asset impairments totaling $1,251 million, consisting of: $599 million in E&P, primarily related to producing properties in the U.S. Lower 48 and Canada; $537 million in Refining and Marketing (R&M), primarily related to reductions in the book value of two refineries; $85 million in Emerging Businesses for a U.S. cogeneration power plant; and $30 million in Corporate. Severance accruals of $99 million. A $525 million net benefit from asset rationalization efforts. Fourth-quarter 2008 adjusted earnings were $1,914 million or $1.28 per share. This compares with fourth-quarter 2007 adjusted earnings of $4,108 million, or $2.55 per share.

- The oil company ConocoPhillips, citing a steep decline in oil and gas prices, said it would cut 4 percent of its work force, or about 1,300 jobs, and said it expected big write-downs on some of its exploration and production assets. Shares of Conoco fell 1.6 percent in extended trading. Conoco also set its 2009 capital expenditures at $12.5 billion, a budget it said was enough to finance large development projects but down from a projected $20 billion in spending for 2008.

- Signaling that Big Oil's heyday is over for now, ConocoPhillips posted an enormous fourth-quarter loss, driven by $34 billion in asset write-downs and plunging crude prices. It also gave a dire forecast for the next couple of years. Chairman and Chief Executive Jim Mulva said the nation's third-largest oil company was preparing for a "significant, multiyear recession." The Houston-based company's net income for the October-December period amounted to a loss of $21.37 a share, compared with a profit of $4.4 billion, or $2.71 a share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 18% to $44.5 billion. Excluding the write-downs and other one-time items, however, adjusted earnings for the fourth quarter were $1.9 billion, or $1.28 a share -- 6 cents better than the consensus Wall Street estimate of Thomson Reuters. ConocoPhillips shares rose 65 cents to $50.16.

February

• Upstream news:

• Downstream news:

• Business/Finance news:

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] announced a quarterly dividend of 47 cents per share, payable March 2, 2009, to stockholders of record at the close of business Feb 23, 2009.

- Setting a new race record, 10,000 participants took part in the 22nd annual ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run. This year’s race saw an increase of 18 percent over last year’s event and raised $245,000 for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ Educational Fund. Since the race began in 1988, the company has donated more than $2.2 million toward college scholarships for Texas youth.

March

• Upstream news:

• Downstream news:

• Business/Finance news:

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] will hold its annual analyst meeting Wednesday, March 11, 2009, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Eastern in New York City. The meeting will feature presentations by ConocoPhillips executives, including Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Mulva.

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] held its annual analyst meeting in New York. The company’s senior leadership team outlined ConocoPhillips’ strategic objectives and operating plans for 2009, and explained how the company will maximize the value of its asset portfolio in a challenging economic and political environment. Mulva reaffirmed that ConocoPhillips will fund a capital program of $12.5 billion in 2009, which while lower than 2008, essentially equals the company’s four-year average level of investment. The program is structured to continue funding those projects in the company’s opportunity portfolio that offer the most significant growth and development potential. In its Exploration and Production (E&P) segment, the company outlined plans to focus on operational excellence, maximize the value of existing assets through exploitation, and deliver a number of major growth projects. The latter initiatives include the Qatargas 3 LNG venture, the Bohai Bay Phase II oil projects, several Canadian oil sands projects, the Kashagan oil field, the Shah sour gas development in Abu Dhabi, and planned coal bed methane-to-LNG production in Australia. E&P expects to prioritize its remaining investment opportunities in its resource-rich, well-balanced portfolio. The company holds 10 billion barrels of proved reserves at year-end 2008 as well as leading positions in both natural gas production and heavy-oil acreage in North America, a legacy asset position in the North Sea, and strong growth prospects in the Asia Pacific, Russia and Caspian, and Middle East regions. Major near- and long-term drilling and development projects are under way in all these regions. ConocoPhillips also expects to apply advanced technology to unlock additional value. In Refining and Marketing (R&M), ConocoPhillips is committed to maintaining its strong portfolio of high-quality refining, marketing and transportation assets in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The company plans to maximize the value of existing assets by increasing operational flexibility, reducing operating costs and progressing strategic investment projects. These are intended to result in lower crude oil feedstock costs through increased heavy-crude processing capabilities, greater clean product yields and selective increases in crude capacity. Although R&M's portfolio optimization plans are focused primarily on its core refining business, the company also has positioned itself to compete in an evolving landscape by actively researching the expansion of renewable fuel supply through industry and academic technology partnerships, adding distribution and blending capabilities, and participating in developing legislation. Also outlined were expected contributions from its Commercial organization, as well as plans to leverage the company’s growing technology capabilities. ConocoPhillips expects to spend approximately $325 million on technology in 2009, primarily to improve the exploitation of existing reserves and enhance the search for new resources, and to progress technologies for heavy oil, gas hydrates, carbon capture and conversion, biofuels, and refining processes.

April

• Upstream news:

• Downstream news:

• Business/Finance news:

- E.L. (Gene) Batchelder, currently senior vice president, Services, and chief information officer, will become senior vice president and Chief Administrative Officer. In this newly created role, Mr. Batchelder will be responsible for the strategy, leverage and oversight of the following staff functions: global shared services, human resources, facilities, information technology, security, aviation, executive services, and corporate affairs which includes investor relations, corporate communications and contributions. He will relocate to Houston and will report to Jim Mulva, chairman and chief executive officer.

- This update is intended to give an overview of market and operating conditions experienced by ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] during the first quarter of 2009. The market indicators and company estimates may differ considerably from the company’s actual results scheduled to be reported on April 23, 2009. Exploration and Production: Higher worldwide production; Lower crude oil prices; Lower natural gas prices. Refining and Marketing: Significantly lower realized worldwide marketing margins; Refining margins – higher domestic, lower international; Lower worldwide refining capacity utilization rate, as previously communicated. Midstream and Chemicals: Midstream results expected to be higher due to the recognition of a deferred gain; Chemicals results anticipated to be higher. Corporate and Other: Corporate expenses expected to be lower; Effective tax rate anticipated to be 65 percent to 70 percent.

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] will release its first-quarter earnings on Thursday, April 23, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. The news release will be issued through Business Wire.

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] reported first-quarter earnings of $840 million, or $0.56 per share. This compared with earnings of $4,139 million, or $2.62 per share, for the same quarter in 2008. Revenues were $30.7 billion, versus $54.9 billion a year ago.

- ConocoPhillips said its first-quarter profit tumbled 80 percent from a year ago on sharply lower crude and natural gas prices. But the results easily beat Wall Street’s expectations and ConocoPhillips shares rose 4.9 percent, or $1.87, to $39.93. The company, based in Houston, said net income for the quarter was $840 million, or 56 cents a share, compared with $4.14 billion, or $2.62 a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, ConocoPhillips’s profit was 52 cents a share. Analysts had expected earnings of 42 cents a share. Revenue fell 44 percent, to $30.7 billion, from $54.9 billion in the period a year ago. ConocoPhillips was the first of the major oil companies to report first-quarter results, which as a whole are expected to be the worst in years as the global economic downturn saps demand for energy. After peaking around $150 in July, the price of crude tumbled hard and fast and today is less than $50 a barrel. In January, Conoco announced 1,300 job cuts and, anticipating a difficult 2009, has reduced its capital spending budget by 37 percent this year. Across the oil sector, producers large and small are scaling back spending on oil and gas projects as the global recession crushes energy consumption. Net income at Conoco’s refining and marketing, or downstream, segment fell 61 percent, to $205 million from a year ago primarily because of lower volumes the company pegged in part to increased maintenance in the United States.

May

• Upstream news:

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] and Anadarko Petroleum Corporation [NYSE:APC] announced the discovery and test production from two wells in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska: Pioneer 1 and Rendezvous 2. Pioneer 1 was tested in March of this year and Rendezvous 2 was tested in winter of 2008. Both are located in the Greater Mooses Tooth Unit, approximately 20 miles southwest of the Colville River Unit development on the North Slope of Alaska. Test production rates for these wells ranged from about 500 barrels of oil per day to as high as 1,300 barrels of oil per day of high API gravity oil. Gas production rates averaged about 1.5 million cubic feet per day for each well. No further delineation drilling is planned for Pioneer or Rendezvous at this time. These two accumulations will be pursued as possible satellite developments with processing at the Alpine facilities in the Colville River Unit.

• Downstream news:

• Business/Finance news:

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] will webcast its 2009 Annual Meeting of Stockholders on Wednesday, May 13, at 10 a.m. Eastern.

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] announced a quarterly dividend of 47 cents per share, payable June 1, 2009, to stockholders of record at the close of business May 26, 2009.

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] announced that Jim Gallogly, executive vice president, Exploration & Production, has elected to retire from the company to become the Chief Executive Officer of LyondellBasell, with the following senior management changes effective immediately. Ryan M. Lance, currently president, Exploration & Production – Asia, Africa, Middle East and Russia/Caspian, will become senior vice president, Exploration & Production – International. Kevin O. Meyers, currently president, Canada, Exploration & Production, will become senior vice president, Exploration & Production – Americas. Kevin J. Mitchell, currently general manager, finance, strategy and planning, Exploration & Production, will become vice president, Exploration & Production – Strategy, Administration and Technical Services. Messrs. Lance, Meyers, Mitchell, and Larry E. Archibald, vice president, Exploration & Production – Exploration, will report to John Carrig, president and chief operating officer.

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] announced that Gregory Goff, senior vice president, Commercial, will speak to investors and securities analysts at the UBS Global Oil & Gas Conference on Thursday, May 21, at 7:30 a.m. Central. The event will be held at Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas.

- ConocoPhillips views the current Congressional debate regarding climate as important because it underscores the complexity in developing legislation that balances our nation's economic growth, national security and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction needs. The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 represents an important step in this process. While the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 addresses some of the policy issues critical to our company, some key issues remain unresolved. The proposed bill will establish a cap on GHG emissions, and regulated entities must submit allowances, or permits, to cover their emissions. The government will distribute some of these allowances to some industries without being subject to auction in order to dampen the economic impact of the cap-and-trade program on these industries and their consumers. ConocoPhillips supports fair and equitable allocation of allowances to fuel producers and their consumers and we are concerned that the current draft of the American Clean Energy and Security Act does not meet this threshold. Under the provisions of the proposed bill, U.S. refiners will have a legal compliance obligation to purchase allowances for GHG emissions from their manufacturing facilities, as well as allowances for consumer GHG emissions associated with using refined petroleum products, such as transportation fuels. This means that U.S. refiners will be bearing the cost for roughly one-third of the nation’s GHG emissions but only receiving 2 percent of the total allowances under the current proposal. It is likely that refiners will not be able to pass along 100 percent of the costs of securing allowances, and they should be provided an allowance allocation for unrecovered costs. This situation also will be impacted by imports of fuels from outside the United States. Like other trade-exposed U.S. industries, the domestic refining industry will face competition from fuel producers in countries that either choose not to regulate GHG emissions or choose to protect their domestic industries. We expect our exposure from foreign refiners to increase in the future in large part due to several very large refineries being constructed overseas that are targeting the U.S. market. The current emission allowance allocation proposal in the bill fails to provide adequate protection to domestic refiners from unregulated foreign competition and leaves the sector exposed to undue economic harm. The reduction in U.S. refining capacity that could result from this policy would lead to increased imports of transportation fuel, erosion of national energy security, and loss of American jobs. ConocoPhillips remains committed to the development of a comprehensive, national climate protection program that addresses greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring the availability of the secure, affordable and reliable energy supply necessary for continued economic recovery and growth. We look forward to continued constructive collaboration on this important issue.

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] announced that Jim Mulva, chairman and chief executive officer, will speak to investors and securities analysts at the 2009 Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Strategic Decisions Conference on Wednesday, May 27, at 10 a.m. Eastern. The event will be held at The Waldorf-Astoria in New York.

June

• Upstream news:

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE: COP], JSC National Company KazMunayGas (KMG) and Mubadala Development Company PJSC (Mubadala) announced that they have signed project agreements allowing the joint exploration and development of the Nursultan Block (N Block) located in offshore Kazakhstan. KMG as majority owner will hold a 51 percent interest in the subsoil use contract and the remaining 49 percent will be shared equally between ConocoPhillips and Mubadala. The project will be operated by a Kazakh LLP, which will be jointly owned by the participants in proportion to their equity. The N Block is located 30 kilometers south-southwest offshore Aktau, Kazakhstan in the Caspian Sea. The block covers approximately 8,100 square kilometers, and according to government estimates is considered highly prospective for both oil and gas.

• Downstream news:

- The Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) and ConocoPhillips [NYSE: COP] announced the re-launch of the bidding process for the construction of the planned 400,000 barrel-per-day export refinery at the Yanbu Industrial City, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The full-conversion refinery is being designed to process Arabian heavy crude supplied by Saudi Aramco. It will produce high-quality, ultra-low sulfur refined products that will meet current and future product specifications. The project is targeted to start up in the third quarter of 2014. Invitation for bid notices for the early work and major packages have been issued to prequalified local and international contractors. The major packages include a coker unit, crude facility, gasoline unit, hydrocracker, tank farm, offsite pipelines, high voltage electrical packages, as well as other infrastructure packages. Early work packages are expected to be awarded in November 2009. Bids for the remaining packages are due in the first quarter of 2010 and are expected to be awarded in the second quarter of 2010.

- In a surprising about-face, Exxon Mobil said that it would work with a Canadian pipeline operator, TransCanada, to build an ambitious natural gas pipeline from Alaska, the latest twist in long and protracted efforts to bring Alaska’s vast gas supplies to the United States mainland. The participation of Exxon, which holds the largest natural gas reserves on Alaska’s North Slope, lends credibility to a plan by TransCanada that last year won Alaska’s competition to build a 1,700-mile pipeline. It also deals a blow to a rival project from BP and ConocoPhillips and introduces more uncertainty into one of Alaska’s biggest political and economic debates. The competition to build a gas pipeline was set up by Gov. Sarah Palin, who had been critical of the slow pace at which oil companies, including Exxon, were moving. Financial details of Exxon’s participation were sketchy, but TransCanada said it would retain the majority interest in the project. Both companies essentially invited BP and Conoco to abandon their rival effort, saying they would be welcome to join the TransCanada plan. Rumors of Exxon’s entry to the project had been swirling for several days in Alaska. With production from the Prudhoe Bay oil field declining, Alaskans have been hoping for years that natural gas would take over as the state’s financial mainstay. Alaska’s estimated 35 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves are now being reinjected into oil fields or left in the ground because there is no way to get the fuel to consumers. With Exxon and TransCanada on one side, and BP and Conoco on the other, there are two contenders for what would be the biggest civil engineering project in North America, and one of the most challenging. It would dwarf the 800-mile trans-Alaska oil pipeline, a momentous project that was completed in 1977. BP and Conoco said their joint pipeline project, called Denali, was going forward. But both said they would be open to alternative plans. TransCanada has estimated that the project would cost $30 billion. It would stretch roughly 1,700 miles from the North Slope of Alaska through Yukon and northeastern British Columbia to the Alberta border near Boundary Lake. From there, it would connect to Alberta’s existing gas infrastructure, which is linked to the United States. The pipe would have a daily capacity of six billion cubic feet of natural gas, or about 10 percent of current domestic consumption. It would begin operations in 2018. Building an Alaska gas pipeline has been sought for decades as a crucial element of the nation’s energy security. But new drilling methods in places like Texas and Oklahoma have unlocked substantially more domestic gas reserves in recent years than most experts ever anticipated. Instead of facing a potential gas shortage, the nation is looking at the possibility of a surplus. When Governor Palin took office in late 2006, she interrupted the negotiations that her predecessor, Frank H. Murkowski, had been pursuing with the North Slope oil operators, BP, Conoco and Exxon Mobil, to build a pipeline. After saying the talks were too secretive and not competitive, the governor sought to bring in new operators to secure better terms for Alaska. Late last year, Alaska picked TransCanada as its preferred operator after a competition that was shunned by the major companies, including Exxon. Tony Palmer, vice president of Alaska development for TransCanada, said the project would make economic sense as worldwide gas supplies tighten and prices rise, and he welcomed Exxon’s decision to participate.

• Business/Finance news:

- Global investors spent about $250 billion building new power capacity in 2008, and for the first time the lion’s share of that money went to renewable sources, according to the United Nations Environment Program. Renewable sources accounted for 56 percent of investment dollars, worth $140 billion, while investment in fossil fuel technologies was $110 billion, the U.N. program said in a report, Global Trends in Sustainable Energy Investment 2009, produced in collaboration with New Energy Finance, a research company based in London. Large hydropower projects, wind, solar and geothermal were among renewable sources covered by the report. Fossil fuels included projects like building new coal plants in China. Even so, the long life of power plants meant it would be “some time” before renewable energy dominated the generation mix. Renewable energy still only accounted for 6.2 percent of total power sector capacity in 2008, the U.N. program said, and even after earning more than half of overall investments last year, renewables accounted for just 41 percent of total added capacity. Furthermore, the current economic crisis weighed heavily in 2008 compared to 2007. Investors spent just 5 percent more on clean energy in 2008 compared to three previous years of growth exceeding 50 percent. Investment in the United States fell by 8 percent and in Europe it grew by 2 percent, U.N. program officials said. European and American investment was down because project finance dried up and because tax credits are mostly ineffective in a downturn, the report said. But the U.N. report highlighted how investment in developing countries in 2008 had surged forward by 27 percent to $36.6 billion, and now accounted for nearly one third of global investments. “Bright points” last year included the growth of wind power in China and a rise in spending on geothermal energy in countries including Australia, Japan and Kenya, according to Achim Steiner, the executive director of the United National Environment Program. Brazil, Chile, Peru and the Philippines had brought in, or were poised to introduce, policies and laws fostering clean energy, he said. China led new investment in Asia while Brazil accounted for almost all renewable energy investment in that region. Overall, the wind sector attracted the most new investment, with a total of $51.8 billion, representing growth of 1 percent compared to 2007. Solar made large gains, recording growth of 49 percent to reach total investment of $33.5 billion. Geothermal was the highest growth sector, with investment up 149 percent to $2.2 billion, but biofuels dropped by 9 percent to $16.9 billion. Mr. Steiner said so-called “green new deals” offered by countries like China, Japan, Korea, European countries and the United States “contain some serious clean energy provisions” that “will help support the market.” But he said the biggest stimulus to clean energy investment would be agreement among nations at a meeting in Copenhagen in Denmark in December, aimed at creating a successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol. A deal at Copenhagen “can bring certainty to the carbon markets, one that can unleash transformative investments in lean and clean green tech,” he said.

- ConocoPhillips is fully committed to the prompt enactment of national legislation in the United States to address the growth of greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring the availability of secure, affordable and reliable energy. We commend the House of Representatives leadership and members for their efforts to advance federal climate legislation. While the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACESA) contains many of the elements intended to balance greenhouse gas emissions reduction with economic growth and national security needs, we do not believe the bill passed June 26 achieves these aims. We have concerns with a wide range of provisions in this lengthy and complex legislation. However, our major issues at this time relate to the treatment of the transportation sector within the allocation provisions of the bill. Specifically we support the equitable treatment of transportation fuel consumers relative to electricity and natural gas consumers, fair and adequate protection for U.S. refining as an energy-intensive, trade-exposed industry and full recognition of refinery complexity in the distribution of allowances among refineries. We believe ACESA falls short of these goals. Further, we recognize that the complex bill has both positive and negative implications for the U.S. natural gas industry. We will continue to evaluate the legislation in this light and will bring forward recommendations aimed at ensuring that U.S. energy and climate legislation takes full advantage of the environmental and energy security benefits of domestic natural gas production.

July

• Upstream news:

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE: COP] and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) signed the Shah Gas Field Joint Venture and Field Entry agreements to develop the Shah Gas field in Abu Dhabi. ADNOC owns 60 percent interest and ConocoPhillips owns the remaining 40 percent interest in the project. Upon receipt of the Emiri Decree, a new operating company will be formed to manage and operate the project. The new operating company will be staffed with secondees from both companies, as well as direct hire personnel. This large-scale project involves the development of sour natural gas and condensate reservoirs within the Shah Gas field located onshore approximately 180 kilometers southwest of the city of Abu Dhabi. The project requires the construction of facilities including gas gathering systems, gas processing trains and product pipelines designed to process and transport one billion cubic feet per day of gas, associated liquids and sulfur. Due to the sour nature of the natural gas in the Shah field, extensive risk assessment studies have been conducted. During the front-end engineering and design stages, great attention was given to the selection of state-of-the-art health, safety and environmental systems. The Shah Project will include one of the largest sulfur removal plants in the world and will also include a sulfur processing and exporting facility, which will be located in Ruwais Industrial City, U.A.E.

• Downstream news:

• Business/Finance news:

- Continuing its 36-year commitment to supporting the sport of swimming from the grassroots level through the U.S. National Swim Team, ConocoPhillips extended its involvement as USA Swimming’s longest-contracted corporate partner. In a 10-year sponsorship agreement announced today, ConocoPhillips pledged its support in both corporate sponsorship and a charitable donation commitment to the National Governing Body.

- This update is intended to give an overview of market and operating conditions experienced by ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] during the second quarter of 2009. The market indicators and company estimates may differ considerably from the company’s actual results scheduled to be reported on July 29, 2009.Total second-quarter production on a barrel-of-oil equivalent (BOE) per day basis, including Syncrude and excluding LUKOIL, is anticipated to be approximately 1.86 million BOE per day. Exploration expenses are expected to be approximately $225 million before-tax for the quarter. Refining and Marketing results for the second quarter are expected to be impacted by significantly compressed light-heavy crude differentials, low worldwide distillate margins and the impact of inventory levels. The company’s average worldwide crude oil refining capacity utilization rate for the second quarter is anticipated to be in the upper-80-percent range. The domestic utilization rate is expected to be in the low-90-percent range. The LUKOIL Investment segment results will include a $192 million after-tax positive adjustment to align ConocoPhillips’ first-quarter estimate to LUKOIL’s first-quarter 2009 actual results reported in June.

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] announced a quarterly dividend of 47 cents per share, payable Sept. 1, 2009, to stockholders of record at the close of business July 31, 2009.

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] will release its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday, July 29, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] reported second-quarter earnings of $1,298 million, or $0.87 per share. This compared with earnings of $5,439 million, or $3.50 per share, for the same quarter in 2008. Revenues were $35.4 billion, versus $71.4 billion a year ago.The company generated $2.6 billion in cash from operations during the quarter, funded a $2.9 billion capital program and paid $0.7 billion in dividends. As of June 30, 2009, debt was $30.4 billion, with a debt-to-capital ratio of 34 percent and a cash balance of $0.9 billion.

- ConocoPhillips reported a 76 percent drop in quarterly profit as oil prices fell sharply from a year earlier. Large supplies of fuel and weak demand hurt margins. Stockpiles of fuels like heating oil and diesel have risen to a 25-year high, according to government data. Conoco’s profit margins were also hurt as the lower-grade, or sour, crude oil it uses in some refineries lost much of its cost advantage over higher-grade crude. Net profit in the second quarter was $1.3 billion, or 87 cents a share, compared with $5.44 billion, or $3.50 a share a year earlier. Analysts on average expected a profit of 86 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates. Revenue was $35.4 billion, compared with $71.4 billion a year earlier. Conoco, the first major American oil company to report results, left its 2009 forecasts intact. On a conference call with investors, the company said it was sticking to its capital expenditure plan for $12.5 billion and still expected oil and gas output at slightly higher levels than 2008. Conoco’s refining and marketing business had a second-quarter loss of $52 million, contrasted with a profit of $664 million in the year-earlier period. The company’s exploration and production business had earnings of $725 million. Conoco’s daily oil and gas output, excluding the company’s interest in the Russian company Lukoil, was 1.87 million barrels of oil equivalent, 122,000 barrels a day more than in the year-earlier period. The company’s July 7 forecast for production was 1.86 million barrels a day. Shares of Conoco lost $1.57, or 3.5 percent, to close at $42.86.

- Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell, the world's two biggest oil firms, reported sharply lower second-quarter profit, hurt by crude oil prices that are running at a little less than half of last year's record-shattering levels. Exxon's profit slid to $3.95 billion, or 81 cents a share, down 66% from the second quarter of 2008 as the weak global economy hurt earnings across the company's refining and marketing, production and chemical businesses. The oil giant said its capital spending was modestly slower than the $29-billion annual pace it had forecast earlier, attributing that to the financial limitations of its partners, the benefit of a stronger U.S. dollar earlier in the year and lower exploration costs. Shell exceeded analysts' low expectations for the second quarter, reporting a profit of $3.8 billion, a 67% drop from a year earlier. It said it received an average of $52.19 for every barrel it produced, down from $110.96 a barrel in the second quarter last year. In addition to industrywide trends, Shell's performance was affected by unrest in Nigeria, where attacks by insurgents in the Niger Delta cut the company's average daily production almost in half, to 120,000 barrels from 210,000 barrels. The Exxon and Shell results capped a week of lower earnings for the major oil companies: BP and ConocoPhillips also lacked the fat profit of last year. Profit at BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, fell 53%. At Conoco, the third- biggest U.S. oil firm, earnings plunged 76%. Exxon said it lost $15 million during the second quarter on its downstream businesses in the United States, which includes refining and marketing of petroleum products. Exxon Mobil shares fell about 1%, to $70.72. Shares of Royal Dutch Shell fell 9 cents, to $52.60, in New York Stock Exchange trading. Shell said it was slashing overhead. In the 30 days since taking over as chief executive, Voser has cut senior management posts by 20%, the company said. It also indicated that it would trim capital spending about 10% in 2010, but analysts at Collins Stewart, a financial advising firm, said "most of this fall should come from cost deflation rather than reduced activity." Both Exxon, based in Irving, Texas, and Shell, with headquarters in The Hague, are struggling to maintain or increase oil and natural-gas production in the face of natural declines in old fields. Exxon's oil and gas output fell 3.3%, to the equivalent of 3.68 million barrels a day, though it said part of that was a result of mild weather and low natural-gas use in Europe. Shell's output fell 5.3%, to 2.96 million barrels a day. Both companies said they remained committed to big projects aimed at boosting their output over the next few years.

August

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September

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- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] announced that Larry Archibald, vice president of exploration, will speak to investors and securities analysts at the Barclays Capital 2009 CEO Energy/Power Conference on Wednesday, September 9, at 10:25 a.m. Eastern, to discuss the company's previously announced results and provide an update on strategic initiatives.

October

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- This update is intended to give an overview of market and operating conditions experienced by ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] during the third quarter of 2009. The market indicators and company estimates may differ considerably from the company’s actual results scheduled to be reported on October 28, 2009. Exploration and Production third-quarter results are expected to be impacted by continued weakness in North American natural gas prices. Total third-quarter production on a barrel-of-oil equivalent (BOE) per day basis, including Syncrude and excluding LUKOIL, is anticipated to be approximately 1.78 million BOE per day. Third-quarter production was impacted by seasonal planned maintenance activities, mainly in the United Kingdom and Alaska. Exploration expenses are expected to be approximately $400 million before-tax for the quarter. Refining and Marketing results for the third quarter are expected to be significantly impacted by continued low worldwide distillate margins and narrow light-heavy crude differentials. The company’s average worldwide crude oil refining capacity utilization rate for the third quarter is anticipated to be in the upper-80-percent range. The domestic and international utilization rates are expected to be in the lower-90-percent range and upper-70-percent range, respectively. Third-quarter turnaround costs are anticipated to be approximately $80 million before-tax. The LUKOIL Investment segment results will include a $33 million after-tax positive adjustment to align ConocoPhillips’ second-quarter estimate to LUKOIL’s second-quarter 2009 actual results reported in August. Midstream and Chemicals results are expected to be slightly improved over the second quarter of 2009. The number of weighted-average diluted shares outstanding during the third quarter is anticipated to be approximately 1,498 million.

- Bruce Wasserstein, the Wall Street investment banker who helped pioneer the hostile takeover in the 1980s and reshaped the mergers and acquisitions business into a high art, died in Manhattan. Mr. Wasserstein, 61, was the chairman and chief executive of Lazard and had a home in Manhattan. The cause of death has not been determined, a company spokeswoman said, though he had been hospitalized earlier this week for what was described as an irregular heartbeat. Mr. Wasserstein, who began his career as a lawyer but quickly moved into the more lucrative field of investment banking, worked on some of the biggest deals of the last three decades, including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’s takeover of RJR Nabisco, immortalized in the book and movie “Barbarians at the Gate.” He also became a member of New York’s social firmament, buying New York magazine, a prominent publication that chronicles the city and its major players. Mr. Wasserstein rarely looked like a stereotypical investment banker, preferring a rumpled look, his shirt often untucked. But he transformed deal-making from a business built on relationships, as practiced by forebears like André Meyer and Felix G. Rohatyn of Lazard, into one more akin to war, built on complex tactics and armies of bankers and lawyers. To Mr. Wasserstein, deal-making was a chess game, one ripe for unusual strategies — that often came at high cost. Never one to easily lose a deal, he often urged clients to reach deep into their pocketbooks to win, often stroking their egos with what became known as his “Dare to be Great” speech. Critics bestowed upon him a sobriquet he detested: Bid-’em-Up Bruce. Mr. Wasserstein is survived by his wife, Angela Chao, an executive at her family’s shipping company and the sister of Elaine Chao, the former labor secretary, and seven children. He adopted the daughter of his sister, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein, who died in 2006. He was divorced three times. Two of Mr. Wasserstein’s five siblings have died of illness. Wendy Wasserstein died of lymphoma at the age of 55. Another sister, Sandra W. Meyer, a senior marketing executive, died in 1997 of breast cancer at the age of 60. Lazard said that it had appointed Steven J. Golub, a vice chairman, as its interim chief. Other executives, including Charles G. Ward III and Gary W. Parr, have also been floated as potential successors, according to people inside the firm. Mr. Wasserstein’s death poses several other issues for Lazard. At the time of his death, he and a family trust own about an 11 percent stake in Lazard, or about 16.2 million shares, according to public filings, and the trust can name a board member. Bruce Wasserstein was born on Dec. 25, 1947, in Brooklyn to Morris W. Wasserstein, a fabric executive, and Lola Schleifer. He graduated from the University of Michigan at the age of 19, moving on to Harvard Law School and the Harvard Business School, where he worked as one of Ralph Nader’s “Nader’s Raiders.” He later traveled to Cambridge University in England as a Knox Fellow, where his interest in business began with his studies of British mergers. After graduation, he began working at the law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore, where he quickly impressed other deal-makers. Among them was Mr. Perella, then a banker at First Boston. Mr. Wasserstein was hired that year and, with Mr. Perella, built the firm into a powerhouse deal shop. Many of the deals that symbolized the frenzy that was the 1980s Wall Street — Texaco’s acquisition of Getty Oil, ABC’s sale to Capital Cities — bore their fingerprints. (Mr. Rohatyn said he tried to lure Mr. Wasserstein and Mr. Perella to Lazard in the 1980s.) Mr. Wasserstein cemented his deal-making reputation in 1981 through his work on DuPont’s purchase of Conoco, outmaneuvering Mobil and Seagram with a lesser bid by using a tactic he devised called a “front-end loaded two-step tender.” Mr. Perella said that no one gave DuPont a chance at the outset. (DuPont’s winning strategy eventually was banned by the Securities and Exchange Commission.) But Mr. Wasserstein also worked as a corporate defender, becoming the “antidote of choice” to Michael R. Milken, the Drexel Burnham Lambert financier whose junk bonds powered many of the 1980s’ hostile deals, Mr. Perella said. In 1988, after months of feuding with First Boston, he and Mr. Perella left to set up their own shop, Wasserstein Perella & Company, taking many of their former colleagues and clients. It was there that Mr. Wasserstein advised on K.K.R.’s takeover of Nabisco. The private equity firm hired him in part to ensure that he could not appear on the opposite side of the negotiating table. Other prominent deals included Philip Morris’s purchases of Kraft and General Foods. Though Mr. Perella left the boutique firm in the 1990s (and has since co-founded another investment bank), Mr. Wasserstein stayed on and sold it to Dresdner Bank in 2000 for about $1.4 billion. Ever the deal-maker, he reaped much of the proceeds. In 2002, he was hired by Michel David-Weill, then Lazard’s chairman, to run the investment bank he had long admired. Mr. Wasserstein largely ended years of bitter infighting and began rebuilding the advisory shop as a formidable Wall Street player. But he also persuaded many of the firm’s deal-makers to support one of the biggest deals of his career: taking Lazard public and ending more than a century of private ownership. The move set off a bitter feud between the two men, one often played out in the press. Soon after Lazard went public, Mr. Wasserstein embarked on another major deal, advising the corporate raider Carl C. Icahn in an assault on a former client, AOL Time Warner. Mr. Icahn and Mr. Wasserstein failed to take over Time Warner, but their efforts propelled the media giant’s stock higher, earning them both a tidy sum. More recently, Mr. Wasserstein led the team advising Kraft, a longtime client, in its potential takeover of Cadbury. Colleagues said the work had seemed to infuse him with new energy, and he had been in the office as recently as last week. Mr. Wasserstein’s side career as a media mogul struck some as an unusual choice. But Adam Moss, New York’s editor in chief, said the businessman took a kind of personal pleasure in owning the publication. “He had always been interested in journalism, an interest sharpened by being on the receiving end of it,” Mr. Moss said. “But he never used it to wield influence the way other powerful men would have, never tried to plant a story, never complained about anything we published.”

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] announced an increase in its quarterly dividend along with plans to improve its financial position and increase returns on capital through a combination of enhanced capital discipline and portfolio rationalization. Capital expenditures in 2010 are expected to be approximately $11 billion, down from $12.5 billion in 2009. At this level of funding, the company will support exploration, production and reserve replacement, while preserving its project portfolio for future development. Further details of the company's 2010 capital program will be announced near the end of 2009. The company intends to achieve its objective of replacing reserves through organic growth. Upstream production growth will occur from a reduced base, as a result of the asset rationalizations. To improve its financial position and strengthen its balance sheet, ConocoPhillips intends to sell approximately $10 billion of assets over the next two years. The dispositions will occur across the company’s Exploration & Production and Refining & Marketing portfolio. Proceeds from dispositions will be targeted to debt reduction, accelerating the company’s return to its stated target debt-to-capital ratio of 20 percent to 25 percent. These actions will increase the company’s return on capital using normalized commodity price assumptions. The company also announced a quarterly dividend of 50 cents per share, payable Dec. 1, 2009, to stockholders of record at the close of business Oct. 30, 2009. This represents an increase of approximately 6 percent in the dividend rate for the company's common stock. ConocoPhillips has increased the dividend every year since the formation of the company in 2002.

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] and Penn State have awarded the 2009 ConocoPhillips Energy Prize to Scott Anderson and team for their innovation, the ECO-Auger™, a hydrokinetic machine that converts moving water from river and ocean currents to renewable electric energy. Its hydraulic storage pressure compensation system guarantees constant energy output regardless of tidal current strength. The ConocoPhillips Energy Prize recognizes new ideas and original, actionable solutions that can help improve the way the United States develops and uses energy. The Prize focuses on innovative ideas and solutions in three areas: developing new energy sources; improving energy efficiency; and combating climate change.

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] will release its third-quarter earnings on Wednesday, October 28, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. The news release will be issued through Business Wire. A follow-up conference call with members of executive management will be held Wednesday, October 28, at 11 a.m. Eastern.

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Mulva commented, "We operated very well during the third quarter, with E&P production and R&M refinery utilization rates higher than a year ago. Through September year to date, our E&P production has increased nearly 100,000 BOE per day, or more than 5 percent, compared with the same period in 2008." Year-to-date production in Exploration and Production (E&P) was 1.86 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day, compared with 1.76 million BOE per day in the same period of 2008. The increase was mainly due to new production from major project developments in the United Kingdom, Russia, China, Canada, Vietnam and Norway. Production also increased due to higher operating efficiency and lower production sharing and royalty volumes, partially offset by base field decline and planned downtime. For the quarter, total production, including the company’s share of LUKOIL, was 2.2 million BOE per day and worldwide refining crude oil capacity utilization rate was 90 percent. Third-quarter production was impacted by the partial shut-in of the Ekofisk field in Norway due to the previously communicated platform incident. Ekofisk resumed full operations in mid-September.

- After posting record profits last year, major oil companies have struggled to adapt to a world of lower prices and slower economic growth. They have slashed costs, shed employees and pared high-cost investments made when prices were rising. As oil prices have fallen, so have corporate earnings. Exxon Mobil, the world’s biggest publicly traded oil company, and Royal Dutch Shell, the top European company, both reported sharp declines in third-quarter earnings. The plunge in profits occurred amid a recovery in oil prices, which had fallen as low as $34 a barrel in December from their peak of $147 a barrel last summer. Oil closed at $79.87 a barrel in New York trading, up $2.41. The rebound has been a relief for producers. While prices remain historically high, the industry has been squeezed because of investment decisions made while oil was rising. Today, few petroleum executives imagine returning to a world where oil trades at $20 a barrel, the average throughout the 1990s. In fact, a level of $65 to $75 a barrel is increasingly viewed as a new minimum for the industry. If prices settle below that range, many oil executives say they will find it difficult to expand production or invest in new exploration projects. While most of its big competitors have been restructuring operations and cutting expenses, Exxon said it would stick with its plans to spend $25 billion to $30 billion a year over the next few years to develop new energy supplies. The company said that its profits in the third quarter declined 68 percent, to $4.73 billion, or 98 cents a share, falling short of analysts’ expectations. That compared with earnings of $14.83 billion a year ago, the company’s best quarter. Exxon became the world’s most profitable corporation in 2008, earning $45 billion as oil averaged $100 a barrel. Exxon’s shares traded down for much of the day after the company’s profit came in below forecasts of $1.06 a share. But the stock ended the day up 12 cents at $73.96. Exxon posted a loss at its American refining business for the second consecutive quarter. The company said that its spending in the quarter fell by 5 percent compared with last year, to $6.5 billion. Its oil and gas production in the period rose by 3 percent. Shell’s net income fell to $3.25 billion from $8.45 billion in the same period last year. In London, Shell shares fell 55 pence, or 2.9 percent, to 1,856 pence. Shell has outlined a sharp cost-cutting program in recent months. It is eliminating 5,000 jobs, about 10 percent of its work force, and merging some units. The company said that as part of its restructuring efforts, it would take a charge in the fourth quarter that might total “several hundred millions of dollars” because of the job cuts. The company said it had reduced operating costs by about $1 billion in the first nine months of the year. Similar efforts are already paying off at BP, the British oil giant. The company reported better-than-expected earnings after beating its own cost-reduction targets and increasing output. Higher oil prices in recent years meant that oil companies increased their spending on more expensive exploration efforts, such as oil sands, to increase production. They were also forced to raise spending as costs throughout the industry doubled from 2004 to 2008. But as prices fell, oil majors as well as independent producers across the country have struggled to adapt. They have capped wells that have become uneconomical, for example, and in Canada, heavy oil projects have been put on hold. While oil prices have dropped 45 percent since their peak last summer, costs have fallen by only 15 to 20 percent since last year’s peak, said Patrick de la Chevardière, chief financial officer of the French oil giant Total. Conoco Phillips, for example, said it would reduce its capital expenses by 12 percent next year, and planned to sell assets worth $10 billion over the next two years. Conoco said that its third-quarter profits fell 71 percent, to $1.5 billion. Eni, the giant Italian oil company, slashed its dividend by 23 percent over the summer, in part to protect its spending program, but the move stunned investors who have long been accustomed to the industry’s policy of paying high dividends. Chevron, the second-largest American oil company, will report earnings. The picture is not entirely grim. Companies have made large discoveries this year. BP announced a major offshore find in the Gulf of Mexico last month, while Anadarko Petroleum and its partners said they had identified a major offshore petroleum basin running from Ghana to Sierra Leone. But oil companies must run faster just to stand still. More than 3.5 million barrels a day of new capacity must be added each year to offset the normal decline of old fields around the world. Some of that can be done by stimulating existing fields to pump more oil; some by investing in new capacity in already-discovered reserves, such as in Saudi Arabia; and some through well-head exploration.

November

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- ConocoPhillips announced a delay in the planned upgrade of its 260,000 barrel-per-day Wilhelmshaven refinery in Germany. This action is consistent with the recent announcement that the company's capital budget for 2010 will be reduced from current levels to improve financial flexibility and better balance expenditures and resources. The project is intended to upgrade the Wilhelmshaven facility into a premier European refinery by significantly improving diesel output from the refinery while equipping it to process less expensive crude. Certain procurement and permitting activities currently in progress will be completed to allow a smooth restart of the project at the appropriate time.

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- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] announced that Jeff Sheets, senior vice president, Planning & Strategy, will speak to investors and securities analysts at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2009 Energy Conference on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009, at 8:15 a.m. Eastern. Sheets will discuss ConocoPhillips’ previously announced results and provide an update on strategic initiatives.

December

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- ConocoPhillips [NYSE: COP] and Peabody Energy [NYSE: BTU] announced that the Commonwealth of Kentucky has issued a draft air permit for Kentucky NewGas, a planned state-of-the-art coal-to-natural-gas facility that would be sited near Central City in Muhlenberg County. The mine-mouth project would have very low emissions and would be capable of producing 60 to 70 billion cubic feet of pipeline quality natural gas each year, enough energy for nearly three-quarters of a million Midwest homes. The project also would create economic benefits by creating an estimated 1,200 skilled jobs during a four-year construction process, 500 long-term jobs and providing nearly $100 million in direct economic benefits each year. Kentucky NewGas would use ConocoPhillips’ proprietary E-Gas™ technology to produce substitute natural gas that is virtually free of impurities. The project would achieve regulatory standards to protect the environment, including adoption of low emissions design criteria. The plant would produce less than 5 percent of the emissions of a comparably sized traditional coal plant and would be carbon storage ready. Peabody Energy and ConocoPhillips led creation of the Western Kentucky Carbon Storage Foundation, a non-profit organization working with the Kentucky Geological Survey to test carbon dioxide storage capabilities of regional geology. Carbon dioxide has been successfully injected into a test well and analysis and monitoring will continue for up to three years. Early results are promising. The companies also are actively supporting development of a national regulatory and legal framework to make carbon storage viable.

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- ConocoPhillips announced that Larry E. Archibald, currently vice president, Exploration, will become senior vice president, Exploration and Business Development. In this expanded role, he will assume responsibilities for Exploration and Production global business development in addition to his current exploration responsibilities. Archibald will continue to report to John Carrig, president and chief operating officer, and will become a member of the ConocoPhillips management committee.

- When ConocoPhillips bet big on gas with the $36 billion purchase of Burlington Resources in 2005, it was widely expected to cause copycat deals. Instead the deal became a cautionary tale in the oil patch. Investors are clearly concerned about a repeat performance. They’ve wiped almost $20 billion off Exxon Mobil’s market capitalization since the oil giant agreed to buy XTO Energy for $31 billion this week. But they should give Exxon more credit for learning from its rival’s blunders. Rex Tillerson, Exxon’s chief executive, appears already to have side-stepped Conoco’s pivotal error: timing. Just a day after the Burlington deal was announced, gas prices hit a record $15.78 per thousand cubic feet. Consequently, by the time Conoco pounced, Burlington shares had already gained 90 percent that year, making them the sixth best performer in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. Fast forward a few years and natural gas trades at roughly a third of its peak price in 2005. Saddled with debt taken on to buy Burlington, Conoco is now trying to dispose of $10 billion of assets in what appears to be a buyer’s market. The deal ultimately led to more than $30 billion in write-downs for Conoco, by Deutsche Bank’s tally. Contrast that with Exxon’s swoop on XTO. Even including Exxon’s healthy premium, XTO shares are still more than 30 percent below their June 2008 high. Meanwhile, XTO’s shrewd hedging will shield Exxon from the grim outlook for gas prices at least until 2011, by which time demand may have picked up. Infelicitous timing isn’t the only factor that sabotaged the Burlington deal. Conoco failed to keep key managers like Randy Limbacher, the highly regarded chief operating officer, and the heads of production in the United States and Canada. Many of them drifted back to independent explorers. By setting up a separate unconventional gas unit at XTO’s home base in Fort Worth, Tex., Exxon seems determined not to squeeze out talent. In any event, given Exxon’s track record in the industry, it seems odd that investors are not giving its management the benefit of the doubt. At the very least, they can thank Conoco for handing them some valuable lessons in what not to do.

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] approved a 2010 capital program of $11.2 billion, representing a 10 percent decrease from estimated 2009 expenditures. Approximately 86 percent of the capital program will be in support of the company’s Exploration and Production (E&P) segment, while the Refining and Marketing (R&M) segment represents about 12 percent of the program. The 2010 program is consistent with the company’s recently announced plan to improve returns through increased capital discipline, asset sales and continued growth in shareholder distributions.