NEW YORK (AP) -- ConocoPhillips, the nation's third-largest oil company, says it will split into two separate publicly traded companies and its CEO and Chairman Jim Mulva plans to retire once the transaction is complete.
Its shares jumped almost 5 percent in premarket trading.
Conoco said Thursday its board has approved separating the company's refining and marketing and exploration and production businesses by spinning off the refining and marketing segment to shareholders in a tax-free transaction.
The split, which is expected to be completed during the first half of next year, will leave Conoco as an exploration and production company.
It says Mulva will lead the separation efforts, but plans to retire once the split is complete.
Conoco says its separation plans do not require a shareholder vote.
The Houston-based company has about 29,600 employees.
The Conoco half of the company originated in Ponca City while the Phillips half started in Bartlesville. The company now has about 3,500 employees in Bartlesville and about 840 in Ponca City.
Officials in both towns say they're anxious to hear what the split of ConocoPhillips will mean for the company's employees.
.The Conoco half of the company originated in Ponca City while the Phillips half started in Bartlesville. The company now has about 3,500 employees in Bartlesville and about 840 in Ponca City.
ConocoPhillips spokesman John Roper says he anticipates "most people will keep their jobs" through the split.
Bartlesville Regional Chamber of Commerce President Sherri Wilt says ConocoPhillips has been committed to Bartlesville in the past and she's optimistic that commitment will continue.