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ConocoPhillips sees higher fourth quarter production


January 07, 2008
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ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, has produced more oil in the final three months of 2007 than in the third quarter, but likely made less money refining it into gasoline and other products, the Associated Press reports. Refining margins, which hurt many oil companies'' earnings in the third quarter, are the difference between what refiners pay for oil and what they are paid for the products they make from it. Those margins have been squeezed of late as spiking oil prices outpaced increases in gasoline prices and other refined products. Analysts have varying views on what margins might do in the first part of 2008. ConocoPhillips provided the details in an overview of market and operating conditions for the recently completed fourth quarter. The company said it likely produced the equivalent of 60,000 barrels of oil a day more in the fourth quarter than it did in the third. The production estimates include ConocoPhillips'' Canadian Syncrude operations but not its Russian Lukoil business. It did not provide figures or comparisons to the year-ago quarter.
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