UPDATE: ConocoPhillips Offers Details for Growth Plans
ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) today reaffirmed its objective to deliver double-digit returns annually to shareholders at its Analyst Meeting held at the New York Stock Exchange. Members of the company's executive leadership team outlined ConocoPhillips' goal to consistently deliver 3 to 5 percent compound annual growth in production and margins, with a compelling dividend, from a diversified, high-quality portfolio.
“ConocoPhillips is set for growth,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ryan Lance. “Beginning this year, we will be growing production and margins across our diverse asset base, and allocating 95 percent of our annual capital expenditures to growth projects and programs with margins that are higher than our average margin today. We believe we have the asset base, technical capability, world-class workforce and financial strength to deliver on our unique value proposition.”
In addition to updating analysts on the company's investment programs and strong financial performance, ConocoPhillips highlighted its substantial U.S. unconventional position and announced an increase of its estimated resource base in the prolific Eagle Ford play. Based on its prime acreage position and technical knowledge, the company has increased its estimates from 1.8 billion to 2.5 billion barrels of oil in place. Production is also expected to increase from current volumes to more than 250 thousand barrels of oil equivalent a day (MBOED) by 2017.
“ConocoPhillips' wells in the Eagle Ford have the highest oil rates per well and are leading the industry in value. This is attributable not only to the fact that we are in the best part of the play, but also to our relentless focus on technical innovation and drilling and completion cost efficiencies,” Lance said. “We are applying these benefits and efficiencies across our unconventional portfolio in the Bakken, Permian, Niobrara, Canada, and outside of North America. We believe our unconventional resource base is unmatched, particularly for a company our size.
“The ConocoPhillips asset base reflects our legacy as a major company in terms of its size and breadth, yet offers the compelling organic growth more common to independent companies,” said Lance. “It also reflects important diversification between a resource-rich North American portfolio, a lower-risk diversified international portfolio and an emerging conventional and unconventional global exploration prospect inventory.”
Since 2009, ConocoPhillips has added 6.7 billion BOE of resources through a diverse and balanced exploration and appraisal portfolio of high-value opportunities. Among the high-quality prospects are four large U.S. Gulf of Mexico discoveries – Tiber, Gila, Shenandoah and Coronado. Further activity is targeting offshore prospects in Australia, Angola and Senegal; conventional exploration in Norway and Indonesia; and unconventional exploration in North America, Poland and Colombia.
The company also affirmed its five strategic priorities to drive long-term performance:
* Deliver 3 to 5 percent compound annual production growth, as well as growth in reserves, through drilling programs in legacy assets, unconventional assets and major projects globally. The company is also actively pursuing conventional and unconventional exploration opportunities that can sustain growth well into the future; * Generate 3 to 5 percent compound annual margin growth over the next several years, at flat prices, by shifting the company's production mix to higher-value products; * Offer a compelling dividend, which provides investors a predictable annual return while enforcing capital discipline within the company. ConocoPhillips targets growth in its dividend over time; * Focus on improving financial returns, through capital discipline, ongoing cost efficiencies and by shifting capital investments to high-value, low-risk development programs over the next several years; and * Maintain a relentless focus on safety and execution, while renewing focus on organic growth, applying technology and delivering functional excellence.
In its first two years as an E&P company, ConocoPhillips generated proceeds of $12.4 billion from non-core asset sales, advanced new growth projects, achieved visible margin growth, accessed new organic growth opportunities, participated in successful deepwater Gulf of Mexico discoveries and maintained a strong dividend.
Over the next several years, ConocoPhillips plans to execute a disciplined capital program of approximately $16 billion per year and achieve the company's organic reserve replacement target of more than 100 percent. The company expects to generate 3 to 5 percent compound annual production growth and margin growth from major development programs and projects already under way in the U.S. Lower 48, Canadian oil sands, United Kingdom and Norwegian North Sea, Malaysia and Australia.
“We have the talent and technical capabilities to operate globally in any resource trend,” added Lance. “Our strong balance sheet provides the financial flexibility to withstand business cycles and to invest in substantial projects. We have transformed the company into a successful independent E&P company and we have an exciting future ahead.”
The company will also provide an update on first-quarter financial and operating results during a conference call webcast on Thursday, May 1, 2014, at 12 p.m. EDT. The company's earnings will be released before the market opens on May 1. To access the webcast, go to www.conocophillips.com/investor, and click on the “Register” link in the Investor Presentations pod.
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