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ConocoPhillips Earnings Up 75%

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HOUSTON (AP) _ ConocoPhillips reported Wednesday its second-quarter earnings rose 75 percent on higher gas and oil prices, though the oil refiner missed opportunities to do even better, according to a statement by president and chief executive Jim Mulva.

Second-quarter earnings for ConocoPhillips rose to $2.08 billion, or $2.97 per share, from $1.19 billion, or $1.73 per share, last year, the company said. Earnings from continuing operations were $2.01 billion, or $2.88 a share, in the latest quarter, up from $1.1 billion, or $1.60 a share, last year.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call estimated ConocoPhillips's second-quarter earnings at $2.93 per share.

Revenue for the second quarter rose 25 percent to $31.9 billion from $25.6 billion last year, driven by higher oil and natural gas prices, ConocoPhillips said.

Second-quarter average worldwide crude oil sales price was $34 a barrel, up from $30.35 in the first quarter. The company said its U.S. Lower 48 and worldwide natural gas prices averaged $5.36 and $4.43 per thousand cubic feet, respectively, compared with $4.91 and $4.48 in the first quarter of 2004.

However, the company could have realized higher revenue were it not for unscheduled downtime at its facilities in the face of higher margins.

``Overall, our operating performance for the quarter was good, but there were opportunities to do better,'' said ConocoPhillips president and chief executive Jim Mulva in a statement.

While exploration and production revenue rose to $1.35 billion from $1.08 billion, the company said production was impeded by 23,000 barrels of oil per day because of unscheduled downtime in the company's North Sea and Alaska fields and by its first-quarter sale of its interest in exploration joint venture Petrovera.

Additionally, refining and marketing revenue rose to $818 million from $321 million, driven by higher U.S. refining margins despite unplanned downtime at ConocoPhillips' Trainer, Pa., and Alliance, La., refineries, the company said.
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