ConocoPhillips posts Q3 adjusted loss of $300 million

Oct. 29, 2020
ConocoPhillips reported a third-quarter 2020 loss of $500 million, compared with third-quarter 2019 earnings of $3.1 billion

ConocoPhillips reported a third-quarter 2020 loss of $500 million, compared with third-quarter 2019 earnings of $3.1 billion. Excluding special items, third quarter adjusted earnings were a loss of $300 million, compared with third-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings of $900 million. Special items for the current quarter were primarily due to an unrealized loss on Cenovus Energy equity, partially offset by a favorable outcome from pending claims and settlements.

Production excluding Libya for third-quarter 2020 was 1.06 million boe/d. After adjusting for estimated curtailments of 90,000 boe/d and closed acquisitions and dispositions, third quarter production would have been 1.15 million boe/d, a decrease of 46,000 boe/d or 4% from the same period a year ago. The decrease was primarily due to normal field decline partially offset by growth from the Big 3. Production from Libya was 1,000 boe/d as it remained in force majeure during the quarter. Turnarounds were completed during the quarter in Canada, Alaska, and Malaysia.

In the Lower 48, production from the Big 3 averaged 309,000 boe/d, including Eagle Ford of 167,000 boe/d, Bakken of 75,000 boe/d and Permian unconventional of 67,000 boe/d. Lower 48 production included curtailments of 65,000 boe/d, primarily in Eagle Ford and Bakken. At the Surmont operation in Canada, the company curtailed 15,000 boe/d and restored production ahead of schedule. At Montney, the first phase of development continued with startup of the second pad. Drilling and completion operations progressed as planned, with the third pad on track to come online in first-quarter 2021. In Norway, Tor II progress continued with first oil targeted for fourth-quarter 2020 (OGJ Online, Sept. 30, 2020).

Earnings decreased from third-quarter 2019 due to the absence of a gain from the UK divestiture in 2019, as well as lower realized prices and lower volumes. Excluding special items, adjusted earnings were lower compared with third-quarter 2019 due to lower realized prices and volumes, partially offset by a decrease in operating costs associated with the lower volumes. 

For the quarter, cash provided by operating activities was $870 million. Excluding a $360 million change in operating working capital, ConocoPhillips generated cash from operations of $1.23 billion. The company funded $1.1 billion of capital expenditures and investments, including $400 million for the bolt-on acquisition in the Montney, and paid $500 million in dividends. During the quarter, the company initiated a commercial paper program totaling $300 million.

During the quarter, ConocoPhillips agreed to acquire Concho Resources in an all-stock transaction for 1.46 shares of ConocoPhillips common stock per share of Concho Resources (OGJ Online, Oct. 19, 2020). The transaction is expected to close in first-quarter 2021.