Oil supermajor ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) said today that its capital budget for 2013 would be $15.8 billion, approximately flat with 2012 spending. About 60% of the capital spending will be in North America, with the remainder going to projects in other parts of the world.
Conoco’s CEO said:
The 2013 capital budget reflects continued progress toward achieving a unique combination of growth and returns as an independent E&P company. Similar to 2012, next year’s investments will be directed predominantly toward high-quality growth projects and programs that are already in execution mode, as well as exploration opportunities to build inventory for the future.
The company also expects to complete its previously announced goal of shedding some $8 to $10 billion in assets by the end of next year. To date the company has sold about $2.1 billion in assets and last month announced a sale of its north Caspian Sea assets that would bring the total to around $7 billion.
Conoco said that about 35% of next year’s capex would go to major projects including its Foster Creek-Christina Lake (FCCL) oil sands project in Canada, two North Sea expansion projects, and offshore developments in Malaysia. About two-thirds of the North American spending will focus on liquids-rich shale plays in the US, with the rest going to other opportunities in Canada and elsewhere. The company said it plans only “minimal” spending on pure dry-gas plays.
Shares are up about 1% in the late afternoon at $57.90 in a 52-week range of $50.62 to $78.29.