Conoco News - 2012

News summaries from 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:

• Downstream news:

• Business/Finance news:

February

• Upstream news:

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] announced that, as part of its ongoing strategy to create shareholder value, it has entered into an agreement to sell its Vietnam business unit for a total of $1.29 billion plus customary working capital adjustments. ConocoPhillips has entered into definitive agreements with a subsidiary of Perenco to sell its three wholly-owned subsidiaries that separately hold its 23.25 percent participating interest in Block 15-1, 36 percent participating interest in Block 15-2, and 16.3 percent participating interest in Nam Con Son Pipeline. The transaction is anticipated to close in the first half of 2012.

• Downstream news:

• Business/Finance news:

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] announced a quarterly dividend of 66 cents per share, payable March 1, 2012, to stockholders of record at the close of business on Feb. 21, 2012

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] will hold an investor update meeting on Monday, March 5, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time in New York City. The meeting will feature a presentation by ConocoPhillips Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Mulva.

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] hosted the 25th anniversary ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run and raised a record amount for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ (HLSR) Educational Fund, totaling approximately $3.3 million to date. More than 15,000 runners and walkers participated in this year’s 10K race and 5K fun run and walk in downtown Houston which raised $400,000 for the educational fund. ConocoPhillips, joined by a number of other sponsors, has funded and operated the event since 1988. This financial support, along with nearly 1,500 volunteers – including ConocoPhillips employees, retirees, contractors, family members and friends who help plan and administer the race from start to finish – enables the company to contribute all entry fees to college scholarships for Texas youth.

March

• Upstream news:

• Downstream news:­

• Business/Finance news:

- ConocoPhillips ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] and Phillips 66 [expected to trade under NYSE:PSX] will hold investor update sessions in April to discuss their plans for delivering value and growth following their emergence as independent companies, anticipated during the second quarter of 2012. Both updates will feature webcast presentations and question and answer sessions with securities analysts. The ConocoPhillips update will be conducted by Ryan Lance, its designated chairman and chief executive officer, and the Phillips 66 update will be conducted by Greg Garland, its designated chairman and chief executive officer.

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] will release its first-quarter earnings on Monday, April 23 at 8:00 a.m. Eastern time. In addition, a conference call webcast with members of company management will be held at 11 a.m. Eastern time that day.

April

• Upstream news:

- ConocoPhillips As announced by the Chinese State Oceanic Administration (SOA) on Friday, April 27, ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] through its affiliate ConocoPhillips China Inc. (COPC) and the China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) have reached an agreement with the SOA related to the June 2011 incidents at the Peng Lai 19-3 Field. This agreement resolves all pending governmental claims. Under the agreement, COPC will pay $173 million to the SOA over the next two years and will also contribute $18 million by December 2014 toward social projects benefiting Bohai Bay. The agreement also provides that CNOOC will contribute $76 million toward such projects. The initial programs will focus on improving marine environment protection and reducing pollutants in the bay. COPC continues to work closely with CNOOC to meet the requirements of relevant government agencies to permit the field to return to normal operations.

• Downstream news:

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] announced that the following have been elected to serve as the future board of directors for Phillips 66, the downstream company created by the strategic repositioning of ConocoPhillips. Greg C. Garland, who will serve as chairman, president and CEO of Phillips 66. J. Brian Ferguson, who retired as chairman of Eastman Chemical Company (Eastman) in 2010 and as CEO of Eastman in 2009. William R. Loomis Jr., who has been an independent financial advisor since 2009. John E. Lowe, who currently serves as assistant to the CEO of ConocoPhillips, a position he has held since 2008. Harold W. McGraw III, who currently serves as chairman, president and CEO of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Glenn F. Tilton, who currently serves as chairman of the Midwest of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Victoria J. Tschinkel, who currently serves as chairwoman of 1000 Friends of Florida.

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] announced that the following have been elected to serve as the future board of directors for Phillips 66, the downstream company created by the strategic repositioning of ConocoPhillips. Greg C. Garland, who will serve as chairman, president and CEO of Phillips 66. He was appointed senior vice president, Exploration and Production – Americas for ConocoPhillips in 2010. He was previously president and CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical Company (CPChem) from 2008 to 2010, having served as senior vice president, Planning and Specialty Products, CPChem, from 2000 to 2008. J. Brian Ferguson, who retired as chairman of Eastman Chemical Company (Eastman) in 2010 and as CEO of Eastman in 2009. He became the chairman and CEO of Eastman in 2002. He currently serves on the boards of Owens Corning and NextEra Energy Inc. William R. Loomis Jr., who has been an independent financial advisor since 2009. He was a general partner and managing director of Lazard Freres & Co. from 1984 to 2002, the CEO of Lazard LLC from 2000 to 2001 and a limited managing director of Lazard LLC from 2002 to 2004. He currently serves on the boards of Pacific Capital Bancorp and Limited Brands Inc., and is also a senior advisor to Lazard LLC and China International Capital Corporation. John E. Lowe, who currently serves as assistant to the CEO of ConocoPhillips, a position he has held since 2008. He previously held a series of executive positions with ConocoPhillips, including executive vice president, Exploration & Production, from 2007 to 2008 and executive vice president, Commercial, from 2006 to 2007. He currently serves on the board of Agrium Inc. Harold W. McGraw III, who currently serves as chairman, president and CEO of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Prior to his service as chairman, he served as president and CEO from 1998 to 2000 and president and chief operating officer from 1993 to 1998. He currently serves on the boards of The McGraw-Hill Companies, ConocoPhillips and United Technologies Corporation. Glenn F. Tilton, who currently serves as chairman of the Midwest of JPMorgan Chase & Co. He was chairman and CEO of United Airlines Inc. from 2002 to 2010, having previously spent more than 30 years in increasingly senior roles with Texaco Inc. including chairman and CEO in 2001. He currently serves on the boards of United Continental Holdings Inc. (as non-executive chairman), Abbot Laboratories and Corning Inc. Victoria J. Tschinkel, who currently serves as chairwoman of 1000 Friends of Florida. She served as state director of the Florida Nature Conservancy from 2003 to 2006, was senior environmental consultant to Landers & Parsons, a Tallahassee, Florida law firm, from 1987 to 2002, and was the secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation from 1981 to 1987. She currently serves on the board of ConocoPhillips. All elections will be effective at the completion of ConocoPhillips’ repositioning into two separate companies, expected on May 1, 2012. Upon repositioning, Phillips 66 will be an advantaged downstream energy company, comprising segment-leading refining and marketing, midstream and chemicals businesses.

• Business/Finance news:

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] announced that its board of directors has given final approval for the spin-off of its downstream businesses. The resulting upstream company will keep the ConocoPhillips name and will be led by Chairman and CEO Ryan Lance. The downstream company, led by Chairman and CEO Greg Garland, will be known as Phillips 66. Both companies will be headquartered in Houston. The two new companies will be separated through the distribution of shares of Phillips 66 to holders of ConocoPhillips common stock. This distribution is expected to occur after market close on April 30, 2012. ConocoPhillips shareholders will receive one share of Phillips 66 common stock for every two shares of ConocoPhillips common stock held at the close of business on the record date of April 16, 2012. Fractional shares of Phillips 66 common stock will not be distributed and any fractional share of Phillips 66 common stock otherwise issuable to a ConocoPhillips shareholder will be sold in the open market on such shareholder's behalf, and such shareholder will receive a cash payment with respect to that fractional share. Following the distribution of Phillips 66 common stock, Phillips 66 will be an independent, publicly traded company, and ConocoPhillips will retain no ownership interest. Phillips 66 has received approval for the listing of its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PSX.

- On April 4, 2012, ConocoPhillips’ [NYSE:COP] board of directors approved the separation of Phillips 66 from ConocoPhillips. This interim update is being issued in anticipation of the "when-issued" trading commencing on or about April 12, 2012.
This interim update provides an overview of first-quarter market and operating conditions, as well as an update on other developments and progress on strategic initiatives for ConocoPhillips in the first quarter of 2012. The market indicators and company estimates may differ considerably from the company’s actual results scheduled to be reported on April 23, 2012. In addition, Greg Garland, the designated CEO of Phillips 66, will provide an investor update via webcast on April 9, and Ryan Lance, the designated CEO of ConocoPhillips, will provide an investor update on April 16. Investors are encouraged to listen to these webcasts and learn about the plans for the creation of two leading energy companies. ConocoPhillips continues to execute its asset disposition program, targeting $10 billion in proceeds during 2012. During the quarter, the company closed on the sale of its Vietnam business unit and expects to record an after-tax gain of approximately $940 million. Additional dispositions are under contract for mature partner-operated assets in the North Sea and North American conventional natural gas assets. These are expected to close in the second and third quarters of 2012. The company expects to reach final investment decision on the second train of the Australia Pacific LNG Project in the second quarter of 2012. In connection with the resulting dilution of interest, ConocoPhillips expects to record an after-tax loss of approximately $135 million in the second quarter. During the first quarter of 2012, Phillips 66 completed the private placement of $5.8 billion of senior notes, the net proceeds of which were deposited into escrow accounts pending the separation. As a result, at March 31, 2012, ConocoPhillips’ total debt is expected to be $5.8 billion higher than at Dec. 31, 2011, with a corresponding $5.8 billion of restricted cash. Post separation, Phillips 66 will retain this debt, and ConocoPhillips will use the majority of a special cash distribution from Phillips 66 to make further debt reductions.The company anticipates first-quarter 2012 repurchases under the share repurchase program to be $1.9 billion and the number of weighted-average diluted shares outstanding during the quarter to be approximately 1,293 million. As previously announced, the ConocoPhillips board of directors has approved the planned separation of ConocoPhillips and Phillips 66, effective from May 1, 2012. Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips look forward to sharing additional information about each company and their future plans at the April 9 and April 16 investor updates, respectively.

- ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] reported first-quarter earnings of $2.9 billion, compared with first-quarter 2011 earnings of $3.0 billion. Excluding $330 million of special items, first-quarter 2012 adjusted earnings were $2.6 billion. Special items were primarily related to gains on asset dispositions, partially offset by impairments and repositioning costs.

- ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) reported first-quarter earnings of $2.9 billion, compared with first-quarter 2011 earnings of $3.0 billion. Excluding $330 million of special items, first-quarter 2012 adjusted earnings were $2.6 billion. Special items were primarily related to gains on asset dispositions, partially offset by impairments and repositioning costs.

- ConocoPhillips said that its earnings dropped 3 percent in the first quarter because it produced less oil and natural gas from a shrinking pool of assets. The third-largest oil company in the United States has been selling pieces of its global operation. It plans to split into two smaller companies on May 1. One company will keep the ConocoPhillips name and focus on exploration and production. The other, Phillips 66, will specialize in refineries and pipelines. Since 2010, ConocoPhillips has moved in the opposite direction of its peers, shedding oil fields and investments in companies like the Russian oil giant Lukoil. Over all, it has sold more than $20 billion in assets and investments since 2010, and it expects to divest another $8 billion to $10 billion over the next 12 months. With fewer producing assets, ConocoPhillips’s oil and natural gas production dropped by 3.8 percent to 1.64 million barrels of oil equivalent a day in the first quarter. The company’s oil platforms also were temporarily suspended off the coast of China because of an oil spill. ConocoPhillips expects overall production in 2012 to continue to lag last year’s pace. From January to March, ConocoPhillips reported net income of $2.94 billion, or $2.27 a share. The exploration and production business contributed $2.55 billion of that amount. A year earlier, the company earned $3.03 billion, or $2.09 a share. Revenue was flat at $58.4 billion. Excluding special items, ConocoPhillips said it earned $2.02 a share. On that basis, Analysts were expecting earnings of $2.08 a share on revenue of $60 billion, according to FactSet. Allen Good, an analyst at Morningstar, said ConocoPhillips would still face a number of hurdles after it splits in two. Both companies will struggle to grow as swiftly as their peers, and they will continue to be saddled with unprofitable assets.