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COP) is another stock that's been undergoing a transformation. That's because the $81 billion oil and gas company spun off its downstream operations into
Phillips 66 (
PSX) last May, a move that made ConocoPhillips a pure play oil and gas producer with proven reserves sitting at 8.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent and a much more attractive balance sheet.
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Around half of ConocoPhillips' reserves come from natural gas. That's an attractive mix, especially given how the firm's supermajor peers have been falling all over themselves to boost exposure to nagtas by acquiring big producers in recent years. With oil prices holding onto the high end of their historic range, natgas prices are starting to see some buoyancy as consumers substitute one fuel for the other. By shedding its downstream assets, COP is able to focus on the most profitable side of the energy sector right now.
Renaissance Technologies picked up a 1.39 million share position in the firm in the most recent quarter, adding more than $84 million worth of exposure in COP to the firm's portfolio.