In 2012, ConocoPhillips officially completed the spinoff of Phillips 66 (No. 3 on this year's Fortune 500), its refining, marketing, chemicals and transportation arm. The move was part of an ongoing strategy to shrink the company so it can focus on growing its oil and liquids business.

Earnings in 2012 were $8.4 billion, or $6.72 per share, lower than $12.4 billion in 2011. The decrease might look bad, but it was partly driven by less oil and natural gas production from the company’s ongoing sale of assets – a move analysts say boosts the company’s ability to fund projects and dividends in the next few years.

Among its latest sales, ConocoPhillips sold two Western Australia exploration assets to PetroChina, China’s biggest oil and gas producer. Under the deal, the companies will jointly study unconventional gas resources in the 5,000-acre Neijiang-Dazu Block in China’s Sichuan Basin.


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