Business 2012 Look Back: ConocoPhillips split allows both more
BY ROD WALTON World Staff Writer
Sunday, December 30, 2012
12/30/12 at 4:48 AM
Original Print Headline: ConocoPhillips split allows both more
Big Oil opted to get a little smaller in 2012.
U.S. domestic drilling reached highs not realized in a decade, but some of the nation's biggest industry players decided that less is more. ConocoPhillips was one of those, splitting off its midstream, refining and marketing segments into Phillips 66.
The separation, which became official in the spring, breathed new life into what some analysts claimed was a less efficient, integrated company since ConocoPhillips was formed from the merger of Phillips Petroleum Co. and Conoco Inc. in 2002. Getting small was better in an age when competitors included quick-moving, independent "pure players" like Devon and Apache on the production side and Valero on the refining side.
"We're ready to go," Phillips 66's then CEO-designate Greg Garland promised in a prelude to the actual spinoff.
So far, so good. Phillips 66's third-quarter earnings rose 60 percent to $1.6 billion for that period, while ConocoPhillips announced plans to spend about $15.8 billion in capital for 2013.
Bartlesville, once the home of Phillips Petroleum, survived the split with no announced job losses to 3,500 employees there. In fact, Phillips 66 also killed plans to build a Colorado research center originally driven by ConocoPhillips, thus easing any fears of losses at the Bartlesville research and development facility.