BREAKING: Conoco Rakes in Your Money
ConocoPhillips makes a lot of money. This seems like an obvious statement, but its one that Governor Sean Parnell, and his oily ilk in the Alaska legislature are hoping you and everyone you know will forget when it comes time to vote on the repeal of SB21.
So they run around with their hair on fire yelling things like “Incentivize production!” and “It’s complicated!” and tell us that if we don’t start sobbing and throwing cash at the big 3 oil producers, and if we repeal SB21, well… they’re going to leave us for someone else like Libya or North Dakota or some kinda other foreigners. Apparently our North Slope crude isn’t all that – or so they’d like us to think.
So, ConocoPhillips recently announced (because they have to) profits that totaled $494 million for the third quarter of 2013. That’s a few greenbacks short of half a BILLION dollars. For three months. Nice work if you can get it.
Oh, and did I mention that’s just their profits from Alaska?
But how can we wrap our heads around that? We’re easily confused, you see. Our pretty little heads get all befuddled with the numbers and the barrels, and the throughput, and the gross versus the net stuff. Apparently 1/2 a billion dollars every three months really isn’t enough for Conoco, nor for the Parnell administration to feel really sure that the oil companies are getting their fair share.
So, think of it this way, simple ones. If you took a stack of dollar bills, and you started in Fairbanks, and you began laying them down end to end, and working your way south, you’d have just about enough dollar bills to get you from Fairbanks, all the way to Anchorage. And then you could keep going on to Seward, and then you could stop and have a nice cup of coffee and look at the harbor for a little while, maybe have a halibut sandwich, and then you could head back and keep laying your dollar bills down until you got back to Anchorage again.
For you non-Alaskans that’s like New York City to Charlotte, North Carolina and change. Or Seattle to Cascade, Idaho. Or San Francisco to Salt Lake City. You get the picture.
And you could do that every single day, 365 days a year.
In the third quarter of 2013, ConocoPhillips made $22,731 an hour ($5,369,565 per day) just from their Alaskan operations. And their profits from Alaska outpaced the Lower 48, Canada, and Latin America combined ($494 to $391 million). So, what does this mean?
Well, for starters it means BP Exploration was right a couple years ago when they called Alaska a “cash cow.” And second, it means that YOUR money (it is your oil after all, thanks to our state constitution) that the governor and Republicans in the legislature is shoveling at ConocoPhillips to keep them in Alaska, is being spent on exploration and development elsewhere.
On top of all that, Conoco’s per barrel oil equivalent profit measured $32.04 for Alaska operations compared with $6.64 in the Lower 48 and Latin America, a difference of $25.40 per barrel. The per barrel profit margin of $32.04 marks a more then 100% increase on per barrel profit over the 10 year average from 2000-2010 in Alaska.
“As Alaskans continue to ponder the upcoming referendum on the Oil Wealth Giveaway, the most recent profits statement from ConocoPhillips confirms that Alaska continues to be a harvesting profit center for the industry,” said Senator Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage). “Alaskan oil equivalent was approximately 500% more profitable then crude equivalent in the lower 48 in the last financial quarter. Despite industry claims of an oppressive and over-taxed business climate, the raw numbers don’t lie – Alaska is a fantastic place to do business and among the most profitable locations in the world to extract petroleum,” stated Senator Wielechowski.
And let’s not forget that BP, and Exxon are on their own little road trips, laying down their own profit in dollar bills right next to Conoco’s.