ConocoPhillips pursues Willow Project in Alaska

Initiatives going well in Qatar, Port Arthur, Canada, China and Norway, Lance says

An array of pumpjacks operate Thursday, July 7, 2022 in Odessa, Texas. (Odessa American/Eli Hartman)

The ConocoPhillips Corp. got 2024 off to a good start with an array of initiatives that included liquefied natural gas projects in Qatar and Port Arthur.

Chairman-CEO Ryan Lance said in his first quarter report from Houston the company continues to ramp up production at its Surmont Pad 267 in Canada, Bohai Bay 4B in China and three subsea tiebacks in Norway and it expects to start up a fourth subsea tieback in Norway in the next month.

“In Canada at Montney production reached a new record level following the start-up of the second central processing facility, leading to over 20 percent growth versus the fourth quarter,” he said.

Lance said ConocoPhillips’ first major winter construction season has gone well and module fabrication is going according to plan at its federally approved Willow Project on the North Slope of Alaska in the National Petroleum Reserve.

“As we build out our LNG portfolio, our Qatar and Port Arthur projects are also progressing well,” Lance said.

Executive Vice President-Chief Financial Officer Bill Bullock said his company produced 1,902,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the first quarter for 2 percent underlying growth from the first quarter last year.

“Lower 48 production averaged 1,046,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day with 736,000 in the Permian Basin, 197,000 in the Eagle Ford and 96,000 in the Bakken,” Bullock said. “This included a 25,000-barrel-per-day headwind from weather, which impacted Lower 48 production by about 2 percent and was slightly higher than the 20,000-barrel-per-day guidance provided on the fourth quarter call.

“As a result, Lower 48 underlying growth was roughly 1 percent year over year.”

Bullock said Alaska International production averaged 856,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, representing roughly 4-percent underlying growth year over year excluding the Surmont acquisition effects.

He reported first quarter cash flow of $5.1 billion including Australia Pacific LNG distributions of $521 million. Capital expenditures were $2.9 billion.

“We returned $2.2 billion to shareholders in the quarter including $1.3 billion in buybacks and $900 million in ordinary dividends and volume rate of exchange payments,” Bullock said. “We ended the quarter with cash and short-term investments of $6.3 billion and $1.1 billion in longer-term liquid investments.”

He said ConocoPhillips maintained its full year production outlook of 1.91 million to 1.95 million barrels of oil equivalent per day for 2 percent to 4 percent underlying growth.

“For the second quarter we expect production to be in the range of 1.91 million to 1.95 million barrels a day equivalent, which represents similar percentages of year over year underlying growth,” Bullock said. “For capital expenditures our full year guidance remains $11 billion to $11.5 billion with a greater weight to the first half of the year.

“This is due to the $400 million of equity contributions at Port Arthur LNG that are almost entirely in the first half of the year. For APLNG we expect $300 million of distributions in the second quarter with no change to full year guidance of $1.3 billion.

“So we continue to deliver on our strategic initiatives.”