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December 8, 2014
HOUSTON – ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) today announced a 2015 capital budget of $13.5 billion, a decrease of approximately 20 percent compared to 2014. The reduction in capital relative to 2014 primarily reflects lower spending on major projects, several of which are nearing completion, as well as the deferral of spending on North American unconventional plays.
Despite the lower investment level, the company expects to achieve approximately 3 percent production growth in 2015 from continuing operations, excluding Libya. Key sources of growth include recent major project startups in Canada, Europe and Malaysia, development drilling programs in the Eagle Ford and Bakken, and new production from 2015 major project startups at Eldfisk II, the Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) Project and Surmont Phase 2.
"We are setting our 2015 capital budget at a level that we believe is prudent given the current environment," said Ryan Lance, chairman and chief executive officer. "This plan demonstrates our focus on cash flow neutrality and a competitive dividend, while maintaining our financial strength. We are fortunate to have significant flexibility in our capital program. Spending on several major projects has peaked and we will get the benefit of production uplift from those projects over the next few years. In addition, we have significant identified inventory in the unconventionals, where we also retain a high degree of capital flexibility."
The 2015 capital budget includes funding for base maintenance and corporate expenditures, development drilling programs, major projects, and exploration and appraisal spending. The breakdown is as follows:
Approximately $1.9 billion is allocated to base maintenance and corporate expenditures. This is a slight reduction compared to 2014, reflecting lower planned spending in several producing assets across the portfolio
Development Drilling Programs
Approximately $5.0 billion is allocated toward the company's development drilling programs. This compares to the 2014 budget of $6.5 billion. In 2015, the Lower 48 development program capital will continue to target the Eagle Ford and Bakken, and will defer significant investment in the emerging North American unconventional plays, including the Permian, Niobrara, Montney and Duvernay. The company retains the flexibility to ramp up or down activity in the unconventionals.
Approximately $4.8 billion is focused on the company's sanctioned major projects. This represents a significant reduction compared to 2014, which included peak spending at the APLNG and Surmont Phase 2 projects. Funding in 2015 will focus on completion of APLNG and Surmont Phase 2, as well as multiple projects in Alaska, Europe and Malaysia.
Exploration and Appraisal
Approximately $1.8 billion is allocated toward the company's exploration and appraisal programs, down slightly compared to 2014. This spending will focus on conventional activity in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, offshore West Africa and Nova Scotia, as well as unconventional activity in North America.
ConocoPhillips will provide additional details on its 2015 capital program and production outlook during its fourth-quarter conference call on Jan. 29, 2015 and its Analyst Meeting on April 8, 2015 in New York.
ConocoPhillips is the world's largest independent E&P company based on production and proved reserves. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, ConocoPhillips had operations and activities in 27 countries, $55 billion in annualized revenue, $119 billion of total assets, and approximately 19,000 employees as of Sept. 30, 2014. Production from continuing operations, excluding Libya, averaged 1,520 MBOED for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2014, and proved reserves were 8.9 billion BOE as of Dec. 31, 2013. For more information, go to www.conocophillips.com.
Daren Beaudo (media)
Sidney J. Bassett (investors)
Vladimir R. dela Cruz (investors)
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE "SAFE HARBOR" PROVISIONS OF THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995
This news release includes forward-looking statements. These statements relate to future events, such as anticipated revenues, earnings, business strategies, competitive position or other aspects of our operations or operating results or the industries or markets in which we operate or participate in general. Actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed or forecast in such forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that may prove to be incorrect and are difficult to predict such as oil and gas prices; operational hazards and drilling risks; potential failure to achieve, and potential delays in achieving expected reserves or production levels from existing and future oil and gas development projects; unsuccessful exploratory activities; unexpected cost increases or technical difficulties in constructing, maintaining or modifying company facilities; international monetary conditions and exchange controls; potential liability for remedial actions under existing or future environmental regulations or from pending or future litigation; limited access to capital or significantly higher cost of capital related to illiquidity or uncertainty in the domestic or international financial markets; general domestic and international economic and political conditions, as well as changes in tax, environmental and other laws applicable to ConocoPhillips’ business and other economic, business, competitive and/or regulatory factors affecting ConocoPhillips’ business generally as set forth in ConocoPhillips’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We caution you not to place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements, which are only as of the date of this news release or as otherwise indicated, and we expressly disclaim any responsibility for updating such information.
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