) -- Another oil operation fell victim to that now-ubiquitous reason for profit shortfalls anywhere in the oil industry: declining oil prices -- at least compared to last summer's record highs. Except


(COP) - Get Report

got hit particularly hard in the second quarter, reporting a 76% drop in profit this morning.

In a press release issued Wednesday morning, the Houston-based integrated oil operation said its earnings plunged to $1.3 billion in profit, or 87 cents per share, from $5.44 billion, or $3.50 per share, in the year-earlier period. An average of analysts, from a poll by Thomson Reuters, expected ConocoPhillips to report an earnings per share at 85 cents.

Particular operations led the way for the death spiral. Though daily production jumped 7% in the quarter, ConocoPhillips' exploration and production unit earnings slipped to $725 million, from $4 billion last year, largely off of slashed prices for oil, natural gas liquids and natural gas.



(BP) - Get Report

reported a 53% drop in earnings due to weakened oil prices.

ConocoPhillips' refining business slumped to a loss of $52 million from $664 million in income in the year-ago quarter after industry-wide struggles with lower refining margins hurt the unit's profitability. On that note, maybe ConocoPhillips should compare notes with


(VLO) - Get Report

, the country's biggest refiner, which

swung to a loss on refining margin problems.

ConocoPhillips's total revenues also dropped by half to $36.63 billion from 73.35 billion last year. The street expected the oil concern to post $39.08 billion in revenue.

ConocoPhillips shares finished down nearly 3.5% by closing.

--Reported by Sung Moss in New York.

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