ConocoPhillips emphasized its natural gas and liquefied natural gas portfolio in its fourth quarter earnings report. Both are important for a European economy looking to rely less on Russian resources. Photo courtesy of ConocoPhillips.
Feb. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. major ConocoPhillips on Thursday reported fourth quarter profits that were nearly 25% higher than year-go levels, supported in large part by higher commodity prices.
Conoco reported fourth quarter earnings of $3.2 billion, compared with $2.6 billion during the three-month period ending in December 2021. The company attributed much of the earnings to higher volumes and better prices.
The realized price, the price at which Conoco sold its products, came in at $71.05 per barrel of oil equivalent, 8% higher than the same period last year. Full-year revenue of $18.7 billion was supported by a realized price of $79.82 per barrel of oil equivalent, 46% higher than the previous year.
Crude oil prices moved above $100 per barrel last year, supported by supply-side concerns that followed Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Russia was a major crude oil and natural gas supplier before Western sanctions limited its output.
Similar to Shell, top brass at Conoco said much of the corporate focus last year was on natural gas and liquefied natural gas, which is replacing some of the market share that Russia has lost.
"Building on 60 years of global LNG expertise, we expanded our LNG business in Australia, Germany, Qatar and along the U.S. Gulf Coast," chairman and CEO Ryan Lance said.
Conoco has a deep LNG bench, but the Sabine Pass and Corpus Christi export terminals in the United States are among the largest in its portfolio. Of the 25 vessels loaded with LNG that left U.S. export terminals during the week ending Jan. 25, nine departed from the Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana and five left from Corpus Christi.
All told, its production for the fourth quarter was only slightly above year-ago levels, with late-year storms impacting the company's operations in the Lower 48 U.S. states.
Further north, however, the company is among the few to set its sights on Alaska. Despite "substantial" environmental concerns, the government gave its tentative approval to the development of the Willow project, situated on land that Conoco has leased for decades.
The reserve could yield as much as 614 million barrels of oil over the next three decades.