ConocoPhillips posts wider-than-expected loss on oil price plunge

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(Reuters) – ConocoPhillips reported a wider-than-expected loss on Thursday, as the oil and gas producer was hit by a plunge in crude prices due to a short oil price war and coronavirus-induced lockdowns that sapped demand for fuel.

The pandemic destroyed demand for oil and gas as travel and other businesses came to a halt under lockdowns, forcing widespread output cuts by producers due to oversupply.

ConocoPhillips said it earned $23.09 for each barrel sold in the quarter ended June 30, compared with its realized price per barrel of $50.50 a year earlier.

The world’s largest independent oil and gas producer sharply cut about a third of its production early in the second quarter as prices fell and brought back much of that curtailed volume over June as crude recovered some of the losses.

The Houston-based company’s production, excluding Libya, fell to 981,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in the quarter, down 309,000 boepd from a year earlier.

Adjusted net loss stood at 92 cents per share, wider than analysts’ average estimate of 58 cents per share loss.

The company also posted net earnings of $260 million, as it realized gains on its completion of the Australia-West divestiture and an unrealized gain on its stake in Canadian producer Cenovus Energy.

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