ConocoPhillips ( COP) reported earnings for the third quarter of 2007 that were 5% below a year earlier, mostly as a result of lower realized margins in the oil company's refining and marketing business. Conoco earned $3.67 billion, or $2.23 a share, in the most recent quarter, down from $3.88 billion, or $2.31 a share, during the same period a year ago. Analysts were looking for $2.17. Revenue fell to $46.1 billion from $48.1 billion last year. Daily production from the exploration and production segment, including Canadian syncrude but excluding the Lukoil contribution, averaged 1.8 million barrels of oil equivalent a day, a decline from 1.9 million a day in the previous quarter and 2 million one year ago. Production was hurt in part by Conoco's departure from Venezuela, whose oil industry is being nationalized by the Hugo Chavez government, and also by maintenance that had to be performed. Income from refining and marketing was $1.30 billion in the quarter, vs. $2.36 billion in the second quarter and $1.46 billion in the third quarter of 2006. Low refining margins were responsible for the decline, according to a company press release. E&P activities generated $2.08 billion in income, compared with $1.90 billion during the same period last year. The company earned $104 million from its midstream operations in the quarter, down 38% year over year because of a favorable tax adjustment in 2006.