Rising crude prices and sharp cost cuts implemented last year at the height of the recession are helping U.S. oil and gas companies, including leading producer Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), improve profits in the first trimester.
Conoco said its average total realized price was $ 45.36 per barrel of oil equivalent in the quarter, well above the $ 33.21 it earned in the last three months of 2020.
The company also presented a plan to reduce its gross debt by $ 5 billion over the next five years and its intention to exit its 10% stake in Canadian producer Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE.TO) by fourth quarter of 2022.
Conoco became a major Cenovus shareholder in 2017 when it accepted 208 million shares of the Canadian producer as part of the payment for some of its Canadian assets. At Monday’s close, the stake would be worth C $ 2.06 billion ($ 1.67 billion).
Total production at Conoco, excluding Libya, was 1.49 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (bpd), compared to 1.14 million bpd in the fourth quarter.
Its adjusted earnings of 69 cents per share was well above analysts’ average estimate of 51 cents, according to data from Refinitiv IBES.
Shares of ConocoPhillips rose 2.4% to $ 54 pre-market.
($ 1 = 1.2318 Canadian dollars)
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