ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) has completed its planned 2016 asset dispositions. Proceeds from these dispositions are being used for debt reduction, share repurchases and general corporate purposes.
The company generated approximately $1.3 billion of proceeds from asset dispositions in 2016. Approximately $0.8 billion of these proceeds will be recorded in the fourth quarter, primarily reflecting the sale of the company’s interests in Senegal and the Indonesia Block B PSC through sales of shares, as well as its interest in assets in the North Cook Inlet and Minnesota iron ore properties. The 2016 production associated with the asset dispositions is 27 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBOED). Production guidance for 2016 remains unchanged at 1,560 to 1,570 MBOED. Production in 2017, excluding Libya, is expected to range from flat to 2 percent growth compared with 2016 when adjusted for the full-year impact of the 2016 dispositions.
As previously announced, in October the company paid down $1.25 billion of debt. Additionally, the company reduced its 2019 term loan by $0.15 billion in December. Including approximately $0.8 billion of commercial paper that was retired in the second quarter of 2016, the company has paid down approximately $2.2 billion of debt this year. These actions further strengthen the company’s balance sheet and supported the initiation of the company’s $3 billion authorized share repurchase program. The company began repurchasing shares under this program in mid-November.
“Our 2016 asset disposition program success puts us in a strong position to begin implementing the differential value proposition we outlined at our Analyst and Investor Meeting in early November,” said Ryan Lance, chairman and CEO. “Our company is focused on generating free cash flow that will be allocated toward debt reduction, shareholder distributions and modest growth. We surpassed our $1 billion asset disposition target for 2016 and are confident in our ability to deliver on our planned $5 to $8 billion asset disposition program over the next two years, which will accelerate our value proposition.”