ConocoPhillps loses $1.47B in 1Q, pays 96.4% effective tax rate in Alaska

ConocoPhillips posted a loss of $1.47 billion in the first quarter of 2016, including a $2 million net loss from its Alaska operations.

The state’s largest oil producer increased its output year-over-year by 4.3 percent, from 163,000 barrels per day in the first quarter of 2015 compared to 170,000 in 2016.

It also spent $320 million in capital expenditures in Alaska, down from the $402 million spent in the same period of 2015, which reflects the work done throughout last year to bring the CD-5 site into production last October.

Although ConocoPhillips said Thursday that it is lowering its full-year capital expenditures outlook to $5.7 billion from $6.4 billion, the company announced last week it will spend $190 million to fully drill out CD-5 this year and next, and reach its production target of 16,000 barrels per day this year.

Last fall, ConocoPhillips announced it has sanctioned development of the adjoining Greater Mooses Tooth-1 project that has potential to produce 30,000 barrels per day.

Before reflecting net operating loss credits now the subject of so much debate in Juneau, ConocoPhillips’ unadjusted result in the state was a loss of $52 million. Yet even with the upward revision to a net loss of $2 million after taxes and credits, the company reported paying an effective tax rate of 96.4 percent in Alaska in the first quarter. It was the highest effective tax rate for any jurisdiction where ConocoPhillips operates, ahead of 90.8 percent in the Asia Pacific/Middle East and 65.3 percent in North Africa/Europe. The company's consolidated average rate was 34.5 percent.

Besides production taxes, oil companies in Alaska pay a 12.5 percent royalty plus property and corporate taxes.

In the same period of 2015, ConocoPhillips paid an effective tax rate in Alaska of 35.2 percent on pre-tax income of $225 million.

Revenue totaled $5.02 billion, down from $8 billion a year ago. ConocoPhillips reported its average realized price for crude oil was $31.43 per barrel in the first quarter compared to $48 in the same period of 2015.

The Alaska Department of Revenue estimates that lease expenses and transportation costs on each barrel of North Slope crude are about $46 per barrel.

The company’s loss was less than expected by Wall Street. Losses, adjusted for asset impairment costs and one-time costs, came to 95 cents per share. This was better than the loss of $1.07 per share that analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected. Shares were up slightly by 88 cents to $49 as of 10:20 a.m. Alaska time.

04/28/2016 - 10:58am