ConocoPhillips reported its widest quarterly loss in more than six years as a crash in oil and natural gas prices tempered growth from Texas to Canada.
The largest major U.S. oil company without refining operations said it further reduced 2015 spending by $800 million for an anticipated total of $10.2 billion. ConocoPhillips lost $1.07 billion, or 87 cents a share in the third quarter, compared with a gain of $2.17 a share a year earlier, the Houston-based company said in a statement Thursday. It was the biggest loss since the fourth quarter of 2008.
The loss mirrored those of other major oil companies, including Royal Dutch Shell Plc, which reported a third-quarter net loss of $7.42 billion Thursday, the most in more than a decade. Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. report earnings Friday.
“That will be a challenge for them,” Brian Youngberg, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co. in St. Louis, said in an interview before the earnings release. “Operationally, they’re doing well with what they can control, but they can’t control prices.”
ConocoPhillips is among producers that have turned to asset sales to help shore up their finances, pay dividends and continue drilling after oil fell by more than half and natural gas declined to the lowest level in more than three years.
Oil and gas production rose 5.5 percent to the equivalent of 1.55 million barrels a day. Excluding one-time items, the company lost 38 cents a share in the third quarter, in line with the 38-cent average of 21 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.