ConocoPhillips to split into two

(Reuters) - Integrated energy company ConocoPhillips <COP.N> said it would split its businesses into two stand-alone, publicly traded corporations by spinning off its refining and marketing business.

Williams Cos <WMB.N>, El Paso Corp <EP.N> and Marathon Oil <MRO.N> have already unveiled similar separation plans to let their businesses focus on individual business strategies.

The separation is expected to be completed in the first half of 2012, Houston-based ConocoPhillips said.

"We have concluded that two independent companies focused on their respective industries will be better positioned to pursue their individually focused business strategies," said Chief Executive Jim Mulva, who will retire upon completion of the separation.

Work on the separation will begin immediately, the company said, adding the separation does not need a shareholder vote.

(Reporting by Krishna N Das in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)