ConocoPhillips Earnings Call Nuggets: Transactions Outlook and Oil Sands Exposure

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) recently reported its second quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Transactions Outlook

Faisel Khan – Citigroup: Faisel with Citi. Just going to some of your comments on the transactions that you plan to close before the end of the year, can you just give us an update on kind of what you – when you expect – precisely when those transactions will close Nigeria and Algeria and Kashagan versus kind of what you guys had expected when you announced those transactions earlier on?

Ryan Lance – Chairman and CEO: When we setup our plans last year we were thinking towards the latter half of the year, mid-year for some of the transactions maybe a little bit later. It looks now to us that we will probably – we will complete all those transactions by the end of the year. They are complex full country exits with respect to Algeria, Nigeria and Kashagan. So, you can probably appreciate the complexity that’s there, but we are on track to finish those by the end of the year, which is what we’ve said all along. In terms of planning, we were thinking maybe a few of them would be done by midyear, but they’ll stretch into a little bit into the third and fourth quarters.

Faisel Khan – Citigroup: Is that influencing at all the guidance, the change in guidance at all on a – with continued and discontinued ops basis?

Ryan Lance – Chairman and CEO: Yeah. So, on the capital that we talked about it is impacting the discontinued operations. About half of the capital that we’ve talked about, the $600 million roughly have $300 million of that is due to those extending the dispositions, but we get that back through post-closing adjustments on each one of the transactions…

Faisel Khan – Citigroup: Just on last question for me, in the Eagle Ford, a lot of sort of industry publications on talking about lower condensate pricing and sort of lower realizations because of the kind of the – its inability to kind of move all that condensate to market or to consumer end market. Any issues, can you talk – elaborate a little bit more on how you are seeing the pricing of your Eagle Ford crude versus some of the – some of these industry publications are talking about in terms of discounts and some of those lighter grades?

Matt Fox – EVP, Exploration and Production: Yeah. We don’t sell our Eagle Ford crude as condensate, Faisel. It’s the black oil that we are selling. So, we are – others maybe experiencing some of those sort of discounts we are not.

Ryan Lance – Chairman and CEO: So, just to add on that a little bit. So, back when there was more of a spread between WTI and Brent and LLS, we were – our Eagle Ford oil tended the price between WTI that LLS as that as compressed its trading more towards the WTI type number, but still as Matt saying at a full price – full oil price for that product.

Oil Sands Exposure

John Herrlin – Societe Generale: Three quick one. Ryan, you mentioned rebalancing your oil sands exposure. Should we expect this to happen over the next few years, or are you going to monetize, try to swap, what are you going to do?

Ryan Lance – Chairman and CEO: Thanks John. We’ve got a very large position. We’ve got 100% acreage, we’ve got joint ventures at Surmont and with our – at FCCL, we’re looking at number of different ways to rebalance that portfolio. I wouldn’t get specific on any one way. We’re trying to do what’s best for our shareholders, what’s best for our company. We want to maintain some exposure to the oil sands, but rebalance what we do have. I would say over the next, this year you ought to see some efforts along those lines, but that will continue probably well into next year as well.

John Herrlin – Societe Generale: With respect to the Bakken and Eagle Ford, Matt, are you comfortable with the degree of activity or should we expect further acceleration in terms of your exploitation efforts?

Matt Fox – EVP, Exploration and Production: No John, we are quite comfortable with the strategy that we have just now, which is 11 rigs running in both of the – both the Bakken and the Eagle Ford. We are running that and pretty efficient. We are just now well aligned out to do that. We’re continuing to learn from pilot test for example in the Eagle Ford and we’re keeping pace with the infrastructure developments. So, I think we are going to keep on that sort of pace for some time to come yet.

John Herrlin – Societe Generale: Last one from me in terms of burgeoning plays or newer plays, Permian and Niobrara, should we expect to see acceleration there on activity?

Matt Fox – EVP, Exploration and Production: Well we have increased our activity there. This year we’ve got three rigs running in the Permian just now and testing the (bad) plays in the Delaware Basin and in the Midland Basin and we are getting encouraging results there. We have got one rig running in the Niobrara just now and we are continuing to test that play across – of that pretty extensive acreage that we have. So we are pretty active in both the Niobrara and in the Permian.

John Herrlin – Societe Generale: I was just wondering, if this could be incremental to where you were, thanks.