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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 April 2006, 06:51 GMT 07:51 UK
Oil price lift for ConocoPhillips
ConocoPhillips refinery
Rising oil prices have pushed up profits
ConocoPhillips, the third largest oil and gas company in the US, has reported a 13% rise in first-quarter profits, following record levels of oil prices.

The firm posted net income of $3.29bn (1.84bn) for the three months to March, in line with expectations.

Revenues grew to $47.9bn from $38.9bn in the same period in 2005.

ConocoPhillips' chief executive Jim Mulva said it aimed to make further investments of $18bn, a figure higher than previously stated last year.

While the price of oil helped the firm's profits, this was countered in part by lower gas prices at the end of last year ConocoPhillips said.

'Investment opportunity'

The increased investment plans announced by ConocoPhillips will see it set aside $1bn for loans to affiliated companies, and will also fund the raising of its stake in Russian oil company Lukoil from 17% to 20%.

"They will grow the company by leaps and bounds because they are so well managed" said analyst Fadel Gheit of Oppenheimer.

"This company has more investment opportunity on its plate than resources to fund them. Everybody else has the problem of too much cash. The unusual thing about this company is that while everybody is walking, this company is running," Mr Gheit added.

Recent acquisitions by ConocoPhillips have included the purchase of Burlington Resources at the end of March for $33.9bn.




SEE ALSO:
Bush plans to tackle petrol price
25 Apr 06 |  Business
G7 warning over rising oil prices
22 Apr 06 |  Business
Why oil will hit $100 a barrel
15 Feb 06 |  Business
Rising prices help Conoco profits
26 Jan 06 |  Business



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