ConocoPhillips (COP - Get Report) plans $6.1 billion of capital expenditures in 2019, the oil and gas giant said Monday, which is about the same amount the Houston-based company will spend by the end of 2018.
The 2019 capital budget includes funding for ongoing conventional and unconventional development drilling programs, major projects, exploration and appraisal activities, and base maintenance activities.
The 2019 capital budget doesn't reflect potential dispositions that may occur in the year, the company said.
ConocoPhillips said it said it expects to buy back $3 billion of its own stock. The company plans to increase its target payout to shareholders to more than 30% of cash from operations, up from 20% to 30%. The company said it expects 2019 production to range from 1,300 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBOED) to 1,350 MBOED.
The 2019 operating plan includes activity targeting several such projects as appraisal drilling of its Willow discovery prospect in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska; exploration drilling in the Louisiana Austin Chalk; and new major projects in Alaska, Europe and Asia Pacific.
Ryan Lance, chairman and CEO, said in a statement that "the 2019 operating plan follows a successful year in 2018 in which we achieved key strategic and operational goals well ahead of schedule."
"We are running our business for sustained through-cycle financial returns, which is necessary for attracting investors back to the E&P sector," Lance said. "We believe we have designed ConocoPhillips to offer investors both resilience to lower prices and participation in higher prices via an approach that rations capital across a low cost of supply portfolio, competes on per-share versus absolute growth, and pays out a significant portion of cash from the business to shareholders."
Shares of ConocoPhillips were up slightly in premarket trading to $66.50.