ConocoPhillips Makes $2.9 Billion In Profits, While Its Retiring CEO Receives $8.5 Million Raise

ConocoPhillips is the first of the Big Five oil companies to report quarterly profits, taking $2.9 billion in profits for the first few months of 2012.

Beginning May 1, 2012, the oil giant is splitting into two companies, and it has sold billions in assets over the past few years.  As Conoco prepares for a major overhaul, it continues to finance the campaigns of mostly-Republican politicians, helping ensure billions in tax breaks.

Here are the major takeaways from Conoco’s profits:

Conoco made a $2.9 billion profit this quarter, compared to $3 billion it made Q1 in 2011. Reuters reports this is due to decreased output after a spill in China and the company selling off assets for the upcoming split.

Conoco paid an 18 percent effective federal tax rate in 2011, and an average 27 percent between 2008-2010.

The company spent 66 percent of its Q1 profits — or $1.9 billion — buying back its own stock, which enriches the largest shareholders and executives.

Conoco is sitting on $3.7 billion in cash reserves.

Conoco spent $20,557,043 on lobbying in 2011, making it the sixth-largest overall spender in 2011 and the top oil and gas company.

The company has donated over $300,000 to federal candidates for the 2012 cycle, 91 percent going to Republicans. Its PAC has spent $60,000 since January. Recipients include Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), Sen. John Barasso (R-WY), Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI).

The outgoing CEO James Mulva received a $27.7 million salary, a 55 percent jump in 2011.  Mulva has contributed at least $20,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and to Minority Leader Mitch (R-KY) McConnell and Senate Finance Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

Conoco uses its billions in profits to protect its tax breaks and finance policies benefiting the oil industry, primarily aimed at Republican players.  Conoco and its CEO — who received an $8.5 million raise — are doing quite well, even as Americans struggle to pay higher gas costs.

ExxonMobil and Shell are the next companies to report their profits this Thursday.


7 Responses to ConocoPhillips Makes $2.9 Billion In Profits, While Its Retiring CEO Receives $8.5 Million Raise

  1. Steve B says:

    Can you be specific about the tax breaks they get? I thought these companies didn’t pay ANY taxes but you quote an article stating they paid 18%. What should they have paid?

  2. cervantes says:

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  3. squidboy6 says:

    Union Oil, Unocal, now with Conoco, was once mainly a California company, except the collusion with Myanmar which got them into trouble.

    Before that there was the use of diluent at the Unocal Guadalupe Dunes oil field near San Luis Obispo, Ca. They used a fracking-like method to get tar sands out of the field and they polluted the ground water of a lot of farms and even an abalone farm was shut down due to the pollution.

    The Dunes are famous for being the place where movies like “Ben Hur” and other sites that looked like Egypt to Americans and not too far from Los Angeles so it was pretty remote and out of sight to most Californians. I think the victims accepted out-of-court settlement. I know the farmer who invested in abalone was hurt pretty badly and I ended up buying a lot of fiberglass tanks from him, for abalone farming myself. His farm had been successful at growing things – I had to scrape barnacles and other things off the tanks before I could use them. There were abalone shells in the tanks too.

    Union Oil had expensive gasoline so I used ARCO gas more often and it was formulated to produce less pollution while Union 76 was formulated to produce higher octane ratings. ARCO is now owned by BP so I tend to buy from independent operators, even though that gas and the others probably came from the same refinery.

  4. sandyh says:

    So that’s why we have been paying more than $4 a gallon for gasoline.

  5. facts lean left says:

    Without Bush’s stolen elections, none of this would be happening.

  6. OtterQueen says:

    Clearly, this company needs more tax breaks and government subsidies. We can’t take the risk of them making only $2.8 billion in profits, or they might get out of the oil refining business altogether, and then where would we be!?!?!

  7. Joe Romm says:

    The spam/moderation filter seems to act somewhat randomly at times. Apologies.