Proudly combining two venerable oil industry names, ConocoPhillips is the world's largest independent exploration and production company based on reserves and oil production. The company explores for oil and gas in more than 30 countries and has proved reserves of 8.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent. It produced about 1.6 million barrels per day in 2011. In 2012 ConocoPhillips spun off its refining and marketing unit as Phillips 66. Prior to that event the then-integrated company had a refining capacity of more than 2.2 million barrels per day. The company also had 8,300 retail outlets in the US under the 76, Conoco, and Phillips 66 brands, and at 1,700 owned or dealer-owned gas stations in Europe.
The spin off was seen as a way to add more value for investors by creating two public traded companies with separate strategic businesses - ConocoPhillips (upstream activities) and Phillips 66 (midstream and downstream activities).
The Phillips 66 company absorbed the refining and marketing, midstream, and chemicals businesses, freeing up ConocoPhillips as a pure exploration and production play.
Prior to the spin off, ConocoPhillips had a handful of operating segments: Exploration and Production (which conducts business worldwide); Midstream (gathering and processing of natural gas, and fractionating and marketing natural gas liquids in the US, Canada, and Trinidad, primarily through its 50% stake in DCP Midstream Partners); Refining and Marketing of crude oil and petroleum products, mainly in the US, Europe, and Asia; and Chemicals (manufacturing and marketing petrochemicals and plastics worldwide, primarily though its 50% stake in Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC). In addition, its Emerging Businesses segment handled the discovery and cultivation of new technologies related to natural gas conversion into clean fuels, technology solutions, power generation, and emerging technologies.
In 2011, buoyed by high oil prices and high refining margins, ConocoPhillips reported a 26% jump in revenues and a nearly 10% rise in net income.
The recovering economy and higher commodity prices helped to lift the company's revenues in 2010. However, in order to generate additional cash, the company has been selling off some of its assets. In 2010 ConocoPhillips sold its 9% stake in Canadian oil sands operator Syncrude to China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. for $4.7 billion. In 2011 it completed the sale of its 20% stake in LUKOIL as part of larger program to dispose of $10 billion of assets in order to pay down debt.
Continuing to raise cash to pay down debt, that year the company agreed to sell its stakes in two non-core US oil pipelines, Colonial and Seaway (the sale of the latter was completed in late 2011) for about $2 billion. It also sold its Vietnam assets for about $1.1 billion in 2012.
In 2013 it agreed to sell more than $1 billion in oilfield assets in Montana and North Dakota to Denbury Resources. The deal both raises cash and allows the company to focus on its core US shale assets.
In 2010, as a result of the BP oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the company teamed with Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and Royal Dutch Shell to form a $1 billion rapid-response joint venture with the capabilities to manage and contain future deepwater oil spills.