Occidental Petroleum's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Occidental Petroleum (OXY)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

April 26, 2012 11:30 am ET

Executives

Christopher G. Stavros - Vice President of Investor Relations

James M. Lienert - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Stephen I. Chazen - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Edward Arthur Lowe - Vice President and President of Oxy Oil and Gas -International Production

William E. Albrecht - President

Analysts

Douglas George Blyth Leggate - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Paul Sankey - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Jessica Chipman - Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Securities, Inc., Research Division

Douglas Terreson - ISI Group Inc., Research Division

Leo P. Mariani - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Jason Gammel - Macquarie Research

Sven Del Pozzo - IHS Herold, Inc

Edward Westlake - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Good morning. My name is Christie, and I'll be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to Occidental Petroleum's First Quarter 2012 Earnings Release Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] Mr. Stavros, you may begin your conference.

Christopher G. Stavros

Thank you, Christie, and good morning, everyone, and welcome to Occidental Petroleum's First Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. Joining us on the call first morning from Los Angeles are Steve Chazen, OXY's President and Chief Executive Officer; Jim Lienert, OXY's chief Financial Officer; Bill Albrecht, President of OXY's Oil and Gas operations in the Americas; Sandy Lowe, President of our International Oil and Gas Operations; and OXY's Executive Chairman, Dr. Ray Irani, is also joining us on the call today.

In just a moment, I'll turn the call over to our CFO, Jim Lienert, who will review our financial and operating results for the first quarter of this year. Steve Chazen will then follow with comments on our key performance metrics, our capital program, oil and gas production and outlook for the current quarter. We'll also be providing some new information on our activity and exposure on select Permian basin plays and on a one-time basis, some additional data on our California production volumes.

Our first quarter 2012 earnings press release Investor Relations supplemental schedules and the conference call presentation slides, which refer to both Jim and Steve's remarks, can be downloaded off of our website at www.oxy.com.

And I'll now turn the call over to Jim Lienert. Jim, please go ahead.

James M. Lienert

Thank you, Chris. Net income was $1.6 billion or $1.92 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2012 compared to $1.5 billion or $1.90 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2011. Several factors lowered earnings during the first quarter by about $0.05 per diluted share. These factors included higher insurgent activity in Colombia, resulting in pipeline interruptions; a maintenance-related shutdown in Qatar; field shut-in due to labor disputes, which have shut down the pipeline in Yemen; and inclement weather at our Elk Hills operations, partially offset by additional oil entitlements in Libya related to the initial start-up phase of operations after the 2011 civil unrest.

Here's a breakdown from the first quarter. To the Oil and Gas segment, the first quarter 2012 daily production of 755,000 barrels per day was the highest in the company's history and was up over 3% for the same period of 2011. We're the largest liquids producer in the U.S. lower 48 and grew our oil production from the first quarter of 2011 by 10% to 244,000 barrels a day. Our total domestic production was 455,000 barrels per day, the sixth consecutive domestic volume record for the company, in line with our guidance of 455,000 to 457,000 barrels per day.

Inclement weather, which resulted in numerous power outages in California reduced Elk Hills gas production by about 11 million cubic feet per day. Our total domestic production was about 13% higher than the first quarter of 2011.

Latin America volumes were 26,000 barrels per day. Colombia's production of 24,000 barrels a day was about 7,000 barrels lower than its typical production capacity due to higher insurgent activity that resulted in pipeline interruptions.

In the Middle East region, Libya production was 20,000 barrels per day, which included additional entitlements related to the post-2011 civil unrest period. In Iraq, we produced 5,000 barrels per day, a decrease of 4,000 barrels from the fourth quarter volumes. The lower volume is directly related to reduced spending levels.

Yemen daily production was 17,000 barrels, a decrease of 6,000 barrels from the fourth quarter. The decrease reflected the expiration of the Masila Field contract in mid-December, partially offset by the timing of cost recovery volumes, which are typically higher in the first half of the year.

In Oman, the first quarter production was 74,000 barrels per day, a decrease of 2,000 barrels from the fourth quarter volumes. The decrease was attributable to operational issues.

In Qatar, the first quarter production was 72,000 barrels per day, a decrease of 4,000 barrels over the fourth quarter volumes, resulting from a maintenance shutdown in March.

For Dolphin and Bahrain combined, daily production increased 3,000 barrels from the fourth quarter volumes. As a result of higher year-over-year average oil prices and other factors affecting production sharing and similar contracts, first quarter 2012 production was lower by 10,000 barrels per day from the first quarter of 2011. These factors did not materially affect production compared to the fourth quarter of 2011.

Our first quarter sales volumes were 745,000 barrels per day. The 10,000-barrel per day difference compared to the production volumes is larger than a typical difference between production and sales, and was due entirely to the timing of lifts, almost all of which was related to Libya and Iraq.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com

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