A steep rise in oil prices last year helped ConocoPhillips earn nearly $2 billion in Alaska, an increase over 2010 despite falling oil and natural gas production in the state.
ConocoPhillips earned $1.9 billion in Alaska last year, up from $1.7 billion in 2010.
While annual earnings rose, quarterly earnings fell.
The company earned $443 million in the fourth quarter, down 11 percent from the third quarter ($501 million) and 7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010 ($476 million).
ConocoPhillips earned $1.2 billion from its Lower 48 E&P operations in 2011, up from around $1 billion in 2010, while maintain roughly level production throughout the year.
Companywide, the company earned $12.4 billion in 2011, up from $11.3 billion in 2010.
In Alaska, ConocoPhillips produced 215,000 barrels of oil and natural gas liquids per day in 2011, a 6.5 percent decline from the 230,000 bpd of liquids the company produced in 2010. ConocoPhillips produced 61 million cubic feet on natural gas in the state last year, down roughly 25 percent from the 82 mmcf per day the company produced in 2010.
In the Lower 48, ConocoPhillips produced 168,000 bpd of liquids in 2011, up slightly from 160,000 bpd in 2010, and 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day, down from 1.7 bcf in 2010.
Significantly higher oil prices in Alaska continue to offset gradual production declines for ConocoPhillips. The company realized an average oil price of $105.95 per barrel for in Alaska last year, up from $78.61 in 2010. By comparison, the company realized an average price of $74.09 per barrel for Lower 48 liquids in 2011, up from $57.69 in 2010.
While oil jumped, natural gas prices remained relatively flat year-over-year for ConocoPhillips, from $4.62 per thousand cubic feet in 2010 to $4.56 per mcf in 2010. By comparison, Lower 48 gas prices fell from $4.25 per mcf in 2011 to $3.99 per mcf in 2010.
Liquefied natural gas sales declined considerably in 2011, as ConocoPhillips began the process of closing its nearly 45-year-old facility on the Kenai Peninsula. The company sold 26 mmcf per day in 2011, down nearly 45 percent from 47 mmcf per day in 2010.
See story in Jan. 29 issue, available online at 11 a.m., Friday, Jan. 27 at www.PetroleumNews.com