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Huge Profit at ConocoPhillips

Earnings nearly double thanks to the higher price of oil.


(COP) - Get ConocoPhillips Report

saw second-quarter earnings nearly double thanks to the sharply higher oil prices that lifted revenue and made its refining operation more profitable.

The Houston energy giant earned $2.075 billion, or $2.97 a share, in the three months to June 30, compared with earnings of $1.187 billion, or $1.73 a share, last year. Overall revenue rose 25% to $31.9 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had been forecasting earnings of $2.93 a share.

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The company's enormous exploration and production segment produced income from continuing operations of $1.35 billion in the most recent quarter, up from $1.08 billion a year ago, driven by higher oil prices. The company's average crude oil sales price was $34 a barrel in the second quarter, up from $30.35 in the first quarter of 2004. Overall volume fell slightly.

In its refining and marketing segment, income from continuing operations was $818 million, up from $321 million a year ago. The company's domestic facilities ran at 98% crude oil capacity utilization, although realized margins fell because of unplanned downtime at facilities in Pennsylvania and Louisiana.

"Overall, our operating performance for the quarter was good, but there were opportunities to do better," the company said in a release. "Due to unscheduled downtime, we did not realize the full potential of our assets in a high price and high margin environment."