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Like the other major oil companies, ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) benefited from the higher oil prices in the first quarter this year, but the U.S. exploration and production group booked an adjusted loss for Q1 that missed analyst expectations for a profit.
Excluding special items, ConocoPhillips reported an adjusted loss of US$19 million for the first quarter, or a loss of US$0.02 per share, compared to Thomson/Reuters I/B/E/S estimates that it would post a profit of US$0.01 per share. In the first quarter last year, ConocoPhillips had posted an adjusted loss of US$1.2 billion, or a loss of US$0.95 per share.
Including the special items, ConocoPhillips’ Q1 2017 earnings were helped by a financial tax accounting benefit related to an asset sale in Canada. Including that divestment gain, the company booked earnings of US$800 million, or $0.62 per share, compared with a loss of US$1.5 billion, or a US$1.18 loss per share, for the first quarter of 2016.
On an adjusted basis, the first-quarter result improved from the same period last year mostly due to higher realized prices. In the first quarter of 2017, the company’s total realized price was US$36.18 per barrel of oil equivalent (boe), compared with US$22.94 per boe in Q1 2016, reflecting higher average realized prices across all commodities.
The company’s production in the first quarter, excluding Libya, rose by 2 percent on the year, when adjusted for downtime and dispositions.
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ConocoPhillips continued to cut expenses in the first quarter, reducing production and operating expenses by 4 percent year over year, and cutting adjusted operating costs by 6 percent annually.
Last month, ConocoPhillips closed a deal to sell its assets in the San Juan Basin in the Southwestern U.S. to Hilcorp Energy Company for US$3 billion, bringing its total divestment proceeds for 2017 to US$16 billion.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.