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BREAKING: Conoco Rakes in Your Money


ConocoPhillips makes a lot of money. This seems like an obvious statement, but its one that Governor Sean Parnell, and his oily ilk in the Alaska legislature are hoping you and everyone you know will forget when it comes time to vote on the repeal of SB21.

So they run around with their hair on fire yelling things like “Incentivize production!” and “It’s complicated!” and tell us that if we don’t start sobbing and throwing cash at the big 3 oil producers, and if we repeal SB21, well… they’re going to leave us for someone else like Libya or North Dakota or some kinda other foreigners. Apparently our North Slope crude isn’t all that – or so they’d like us to think.

So, ConocoPhillips recently announced (because they have to) profits that totaled $494 million for the third quarter of 2013. That’s a few greenbacks short of half a BILLION dollars. For three months. Nice work if you can get it.

Oh, and did I mention that’s just their profits from Alaska?

But how can we wrap our heads around that? We’re easily confused, you see. Our pretty little heads get all befuddled with the numbers and the barrels, and the throughput, and the gross versus the net stuff. Apparently 1/2 a billion dollars every three months really isn’t enough for Conoco, nor for the Parnell administration to feel really sure that the oil companies are getting their fair share.

So, think of it this way, simple ones. If you took a stack of dollar bills, and you started in Fairbanks, and you began laying them down end to end, and working your way south, you’d have just about enough dollar bills to get you from Fairbanks, all the way to Anchorage. And then you could keep going on to Seward, and then you could stop and have a nice cup of coffee and look at the harbor for a little while, maybe have a halibut sandwich, and then you could head back and keep laying your dollar bills down until you got back to Anchorage again.

For you non-Alaskans that’s like New York City to Charlotte, North Carolina and change. Or Seattle to Cascade, Idaho. Or San Francisco to Salt Lake City. You get the picture.

And you could do that every single day, 365 days a year.


In the third quarter of 2013, ConocoPhillips made $22,731 an hour ($5,369,565 per day) just from their Alaskan operations.  And their profits from Alaska outpaced the Lower 48, Canada, and Latin America combined ($494 to $391 million). So, what does this mean?

Well, for starters it means BP Exploration was right a couple years ago when they called Alaska a “cash cow.” And second, it means that YOUR money (it is your oil after all, thanks to our state constitution) that the governor and Republicans in the legislature is shoveling at ConocoPhillips to keep them in Alaska, is being spent on exploration and development elsewhere.

On top of all that, Conoco’s per barrel oil equivalent profit measured $32.04 for Alaska operations compared with $6.64 in the Lower 48 and Latin America, a difference of $25.40 per barrel.  The per barrel profit margin of $32.04 marks a more then 100% increase on per barrel profit over the 10 year average from 2000-2010 in Alaska.

“As Alaskans continue to ponder the upcoming referendum on the Oil Wealth Giveaway, the most recent profits statement from ConocoPhillips confirms that Alaska continues to be a harvesting profit center for the industry,” said Senator Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage). “Alaskan oil equivalent was approximately 500% more profitable then crude equivalent in the lower 48 in the last financial quarter.  Despite industry claims of an oppressive and over-taxed business climate, the raw numbers don’t lie – Alaska is a fantastic place to do business and among the most profitable locations in the world to extract petroleum,” stated Senator Wielechowski.

And let’s not forget that BP, and Exxon are on their own little road trips, laying down their own profit in dollar bills right next to Conoco’s.



16 Responses to “BREAKING: Conoco Rakes in Your Money”
  1. Carol says:

    Someone commented on Facebook (another article on this, not Mudflats) that the arithmetic was wrong. Please go to your calculator; the arithmetic is wrong, $22,731 an hour ($5,369,565 per day) $22,731 times 24 = 545,544. The original article by Senator Bill W(can’t spell his name) listed the amount per hour as 223,731, which does multiply out much more close to the listed $5,369,565.

  2. beth. says:

    Sure do need that old “like” button… Need it real bad for this thread. beth.

  3. Krubozumo Nyankoye says:


    no you should prepare to revolt. Remember November 2000?

    • slipstream says:

      Oh, you mean when Florida conspired to suppress voters, the Supreme Court destroyed democracy by ordering Florida to stop counting votes, then installed that idiot from Texas as president?

      Which soon led to invading other countries, torturing prisoners, and drones raining down murder from the sky?

      Yep. I seem to remember that.

  4. Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

    Well the enthusiasm is kind of neat but it is also vague. How should these people vote? There is too much of an assumption that everyone is well informed. It isn’t so. I don’t know how the measure is written because after all, I am 9,000 miles away and not an Alaskan, but I kind of have the impression that the ballot measure in question is to repeal SB21 and reinstate the original tax structure so that Alaska would be paid something for their resources. So the vote to be cast would be a yes to repeal the tax give away. If I am wrong about that someone please correct me ASAP.

    There are deeper and more concerning issues at stake as well. Leaving aside the fact that the vast majority of the wealth realized from exploiting public resources goes to a tiny percentage of people who no more deserve it than they deserve to be treated as gods, what of the consequences that will ensue from burning billions of tonnes of carbon fuels and releasing that effluent into our atmosphere?

    Let’s look at the problem in a slightly more tangible form. Suppose I show you a bathtub full of water and give you assurances that the water is pristine and pure. Then I take a healthy piss in it, scoop up a glass
    full and say here, have a drink, it’s not really contaminated, the ratio of piss to pure water is 1:500. Would you drink it? Would you drink it if you hadn’t had any water for two days?

    The carbon pollution problem is much worse than the bathtub analogy because the important elements of it are very poorly understood by most people. To an extent you could say they are not even aware of the atmosphere.

    My personal perspective is not optimistic. My view of modern civilization is that the world is being operated by an utterly unworthy cohort of individuals with a juvenile state of mind and acute egotism. Their sole mission in life appears to be greed.

    I have no idea whether anyone who reads here is familiar with classical Greek tragedies. If anyone is they can get at least a tenuous grasp of how I view things. We are going to bring ourselves to grief. We are
    actualy working at it. To some, whom we might call oracles, the future is clear and unambiguous, but we
    do not listen to them because we have adopted the idea that paying attention to reality is not actually necessary. There will always be food in the grocery store, there will always be gasoline in the pumps.
    The world as we know it will and can go on forever.

    Except it can’t and won’t.

    I wish I was asleep, so I could wake up to some reality that was not so grotesque.

    • Mo says:

      OK, Cassandra, I’m with ya.

      Can hardly wait for the plagues carried by insects encouraged to spread their territories by global warming.

  5. AlaskaCodPiece says:

    You said the magic word, Zyxmomma — VOTE. The last general election (2012) only about 25% of Alaskans bothered to vote. Shameful!!

    That, combined with the gerrymandered election districts that tilted Republican, is why we now have a legislature full of Parnell pawns who are eager to do his bidding. Two of whom are employed by the oil companies that they voted for every time.

    VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE — it is the ONLY way to prevent Alaska from being ravaged for the riches of Outside interests.

    • akbright says:

      Speaking of Gerrymandering, on Tuesday, November 5 from 5:00pm-7:00pm, at the UAA Bookstore, there will be an Alaska Redistricting Panel with Former State Senator Albert Kookesh, Prof. Emeritus Steve Aufrecht and Attorney Michael White.

      · Albert Kookesh is of the Tlingit Nation, Eagle Tribe, Brown Bear Clan, and is a former Alaska State Senator from 2005 through January 2013. He currently serves as board chair for Sealaska Native Corporation.
      · Michael White is an attorney for the Alaska Redistricting Board and a member of the Patton Boogs law firm.
      · Guest speaker Steve Aufrecht is retired Professor Emeritus in Public Administration Dept., CBPP at UAA. He has been actively following Alaska redistricting efforts since 2011 in his blog, “What Do I Know?”

  6. confused says:

    Big oil stop whining or get out. Alaskans please read your constitution. You own your resources and you have a say in how they are used. Big oil has production quotas as part of their land leases, and if they don’t want to produce under the guidelines that they agreed to then let’s just let them go and give the state a shot at it. We have the skilled labor in place–maybe we could let ASRC handle the management and keep more of that money in the state. A half billion per quarter (and that’s just one company) buys a whole lot of infrastructure real fast. Besides it would be heck of a fun ride. And in the meantime VOTE people. Parnell has lost his mind!

  7. Mo says:

    Time to become an even more revolting peasant:

    “The corporate oligarchs have now seized all institutional systems of power in the United States. Electoral politics, internal security, the judiciary, our universities, the arts and finance, along with nearly all forms of communication, are in corporate hands. Our democracy, with faux debates between two corporate parties, is meaningless political theater. There is no way within the system to defy the demands of Wall Street, the fossil fuel industry or war profiteers.”

  8. mike from iowa says:

    Alaska is number 4 in oil producing states behind California with all their socialistic rules and regulations concerning the environment. What? California-that socialist’s dream outproduces the free market whiners in Alaska? I don’t believe it,but it is a fact. I’m guessing with as easy a time pulling the wool over voter’s eyes,Alaska must lead the world in voting sheeple per capita.

  9. Alaska Pi says:

    Yeah. Well.

    “On top of all that, Conoco’s per barrel oil equivalent profit measured $32.04 for Alaska operations compared with $6.64 in the Lower 48 and Latin America, a difference of $25.40 per barrel. ”

    So sick and tired of this crap from the oil companies.
    So, this is profit? After the cost of production is deducted?
    After all those pesky taxes and royalties are accounted for?
    And so, these yahoos making almost 5 times as much per barrel here than the other markets you keep trying to scare us about Gov Torpedo is good for Alaska and managing a non-renewable resource?
    Gov Torpedo, you and your Spineless Legs have sold us down the river…
    Repeal SB21!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Zyxomma says:

    Get out the vote! Vote, vote, vote, vote, vote, vote, vote, vote, vote. Get your family, friends, and neighbors to vote. Everyone vote!