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ConocoPhillips Sees FY18 Production Growth; Ups Dividend; Expands Share Buyback

ConocoPhillips (COP) Thursday said it expects first-quarter 2018 production to be 1,180 to 1,220 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day or MBOED.

The company projects fiscal 2018 production to be 1,195 to 1,235 MBOED. This results in approximately 5 percent growth compared with full-year 2017 underlying production, which excludes disposition impacts of 191 MBOED. Production guidance for 2018 excludes Libya.

Guidance for 2018 production and operating expenses and 2018 adjusted operating cost is $5.7 billion.

Ryan Lance, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "We entered 2018 with strong operational and financial momentum. While the outlook for commodity prices has improved, our operating plan remains unchanged and we have already taken clear actions to demonstrate our commitment to maintain discipline and follow our priorities."

Consistent with the company's returns-focused value proposition and strategic priorities, ConocoPhillips announced an increase in its distributions to shareholders, consisting of an increase to the quarterly dividend and an increase in the previously announced planned 2018 share repurchases.

The board of directors approved a 7.5 percent increase to the quarterly dividend, from 26.5 cents to 28.5 cents per share. The dividend is payable on March 1 to stockholders of record at the close of business on Feb. 12.

The company expanded its previously announced 2018 share repurchases by 33 percent, from $1.5 billion to $2.0 billion.

Further, the company announced it has signed a definitive agreement with Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) to acquire its 22 percent nonoperated interest in the Western North Slope of Alaska, as well as its interest in the Alpine pipeline, for $400 million in cash, before customary adjustments.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval, and has an effective date of October 1, 2017.

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