ConocoPhillips Unveils $3 Billion Share Buyback, Sets Targets For 2017

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Oil giant ConocoPhillips on Thursday unveiled plans for 2017 that include a $3 billion share buyback and the sale of $5 billion to $8 billion of assets focused on North American natural gas. In a statement released ahead of an analyst meeting, the company said it will further cut capex spending in 2017, continue to cut costs and reduce debt. "During the past two years, we have significantly transformed ConocoPhillips to succeed in a lower, more volatile price environment," Chief Executive Ryan Lance said in a statement. "We've lowered the capital intensity and breakeven price of the company, lowered the cost of supply of our investment portfolio, and created strategic flexibility for future price cycles." The company is expecting Brent prices of about $50 per barrel, he said. It is planning to cut debt by $20 billion. The company's capex budget for 2017 is $5 billion, down 4% from its 2016 capex guidance of $5.2 billion. Full-year 2017 production is expected at 1,540 to 1,570 thousand barrels of oil equivalent, which implies flat to 2% growth compared with 2016. Shares were not yet active premarket, but are down 2% in the year so far, while the S&) 500 has gained 5.8%.

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