Alaska Business Insider

Alaska’s economy never stands still. One minute the oil industry is booming while tourism companies are tottering, and the next the construction industry is laying down its hammers while fishermen are enjoying strong catches.

In this blog we’ll track those highs and lows, resource development disputes, new ventures and many other topics. We’ll rely on our own reporting as well as bring you relevant news from other media or any other source that has information of interest to people following Alaska industries, from mining to retail to real estate.

We encourage your comments on our posts, but please keep them courteous and on topic. If you violate the ADN comment policy, your posts will be deleted.

Alaska Business Insider RSS feed

Imagining Alaska's economy without oil - 3/10/2011 4:54 pm

Nine local women added to ATHENA Society - 3/1/2011 10:02 am

Alaska tribe takes coal mine concerns to UN - 2/25/2011 1:22 pm

Missed deadlines on North Slope gas line - 2/24/2011 4:42 pm

Pat Galvin's new job - 2/24/2011 4:24 pm

Sport groups pressure EPA on Pebble - 2/24/2011 3:27 pm

Study highlights Arctic drilling's economic impact - 2/24/2011 1:46 pm

Muni changing wireless, Internet providers - 2/23/2011 9:06 pm

Conoco boosts dividend, unveils $12 billion capital budget

By Chris Kahn, The Associated Press --

NEW YORK — Conoco Phillips said Friday it will reward investors with a 20 percent dividend increase and a plan to buy back $10 billion of shares.

The company also announced a $12 billion exploration and production capital budget for this year that includes some projects on Alaska's North Slope, where Conoco has major holdings.

The Houston oil producer will pay a 66-cents-per-share dividend on March 1 to shareholders of record on Feb. 22. The share repurchase plan, if completed, would more than double the amount spent on buybacks last year. Repurchasing shares takes them off the open market and pushes remaining shares higher.

Conoco has been aggressive in rewarding shareholders while transforming its business with the sale of some oil-producing assets during the past few years. The sales helped Conoco boost earnings last year nearly threefold to $11.4 billion.

Morningstar Inc. analyst Allen Good said Conoco wants to make up for poorly timed acquisitions, including a $35 billion deal for Burlington Resources, that haven't been worth as much as the company paid.

The company is focusing on its North American properties and using proceeds from the asset sales to pay back shareholders. The stock repurchase program is the industry's largest behind Exxon Mobil Corp., Good said.

"They're just trying to be more shareholder friendly," he said.

Shares rose 2.1 percent to $71.58.

Separately, Conoco announced it will boost capital spending to $13.5 billion this year. Most of that money will go toward finding and producing new sources of petroleum.

About $6 billion will be used to develop liquids-rich shale fields in the continental United States. Other spending will be directed to oil sands projects in Canada and development of oil wells in Alaska.

Spending in Alaska is expected to be directed toward development of the existing Prudhoe Bay and Kuparuk oil fields, as well as the Western North Slope. The company did not specify how much of the $6 billion is aimed at Alaska.

Another $6 billion will be spent on operations in Europe, Asia and Africa. Conoco will continue to develop a coalbed methane-to-liquid natural gas joint venture in Australia and new fields offshore in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. Projects also will be funded in the North Sea, Africa and the Caspian Sea.

Conoco will spend $1.2 billion on its refining and marketing business, with $1 billion to be spent in the United States.

The Anchorage Daily News/ contributed to this story.

Anchorage Daily News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service