By Jackie Weidman and Noreen Nielsen
ConocoPhillips announced its 2012 third-quarter profits this morning, reporting earnings of $1.8 billion — a decline of 31 percent due to a drop in crude oil prices and natural gas.
ConocoPhillips has made $7 billion in profits in 2012 alone. Earlier this year, ConocoPhillips split into two companies – ConocoPhillips and Phillips66 – with ConocoPhillips controlling upstream business, and Phillips66 taking over the refineries side.
ConocoPhillips is ranked as the ninth-largest company in the world in the 2012 Global Fortune 500. It receives an estimated annual average of $600 million dollars in tax breaks, and continues to spend millions of dollars to influence lawmakers.
Below is a quick glimpse at what ConocoPhillips is using its billions of dollars in profits for:
— ConocoPhillips has already spent $1.9 million lobbying Congress this year. Since 2011, ConocoPhillips spent over $20 million on lobbying Congress, making it the top spender of the oil and gas industry.
— Conoco has contributed over $483,000 to federal campaigns this year, with 90 percent of the contributions going to Republicans.
— Conoco is sitting on $1.3 billion in cash reserves.
— The company spent 8 percent of its third quarter profit — or $149 million— buying back its own stock, which enriches the largest shareholders and executives.
— Conoco’s production is 1 percent lower than this time last year (1.525 million BOE per day vs. 1.538 million BOE per day in 2011)
— Conoco paid an 18 percent effective federal tax rate in 2011. This is nearly half of the 35 percent standard top corporate tax rate.
— ConocoPhillips’ former CEO James Mulva received $18.92 million in total compensation last year. Current CEO, Ryan Lance received over $5.9 million in compensation in 2011. He sits on the board of the American Petroleum Institute, the lobbying arm of the oil and gas industry.
BP will be the next of the Big Five oil companies to announce its 2012 third-quarter profit earnings on Tuesday, October 30, 2012.