Phillips widens loss in restatement of first quarter results

Friday, May 10th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (AP) _ Phillips Petroleum Co. quadrupled its reported first quarter loss Friday to reflect a lower value of its offshore interests near Angola.

The Bartlesville-based company said the writedown widened its first-quarter loss to $102 million, or 27 cents per share. The company's net operating loss of $7 million, or 2 cents a share, was unchanged.

The company said it would reduce its investment off the African nation's shore by $77 million because the first exploratory well there turned out to be dry.

The results of the drilling were not known until early May, just after Phillips reported a $25 million first quarter net loss on April 26. The company at that time cited bad refining conditions and lower marketing margins.

Phillips said its $5 million share of the well's drilling costs will be charged to dry hole expense in the second quarter of 2002.

The company and its partners will drill two more exploratory wells off Angola because the block is large and is believed to have potential, Phillips said.

Phillips is merging with rival oil company Conoco Inc., a deal that will create the nation's third largest oil company. It is expected to close in the second half of 2002.