ConocoPhillips, the world's largest independent oil and gas company, announced Thursday that it saw both profit and production rise slightly in the third quarter this year.
The Houston-based company reported earnings of 2.7 billion U.S. dollars, or 2.17 dollars per share, compared with 2.5 billion dollars, or 2.00 dollars a share, in the same quarter last year.
A large chuck of the profit came from the July sale of ConocoPhillips' Nigerian assets. When those and a few other events were excluded, the company's third-quarter 2014 adjusted earnings were 1.6 billion dollars, compared with third-quarter 2013 adjusted earnings of 1.8 billion dollars.
The company also saw production increase by 44,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to an average total of 543,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The increase was largely due to the strength of operations in unconventional plays, such as the Eagle Ford and the Bakken.
"We expect strong growth in 2015 driven by ongoing success in the North American unconventionals and startup of several major projects," said Ryan Lance, ConocoPhillips' chairman and CEO. "ConocoPhillips is well positioned in the current environment to deliver 3 to 5 percent volume and margin growth with an attractive dividend."
The company, nonetheless, revised downward its expected fourth-quarter production and revealed plans to cut down its spending due to falling crude prices.
Lance told investors on a conference call Thursday that the company expects to spend less than 16 billion dollars next year, down from the 16.7 billion dollars projected for 2014.
ConocoPhillips was created through the merger of Conoco Inc. and the Phillips Petroleum Co. in 2002. It is the world's largest independent pure-play exploration and production company and the third-largest U.S. energy producer.