Conoco said higher crude oil
and natural gas prices
, as well as continued growth in oil and natural gas production volumes
, will result in earnings appreciably higher than current analysts' estimates for the third quarter.
Conoco Chairman, President and CEO Archie W. Dunham said
earnings would be in a range of about four to seven cents higher than First Call
's current consensus estimate of 33 cents of underlying earnings per share for the third quarter.
"We're on target to produce production growth of about 10 percent in 1999, in line with earlier estimates," he said.
Vice-President for worldwide upstream Rob McKee said
the added production was primarily due to increased volumes from the giant U.K. Britannia gas field
and the Southern North Sea gas basin; the giant Petrozuata oil field
in Venezuela; and the Ursa oil field
in the Gulf of Mexico.
"Our ongoing goal is to deliver industry-leading production growth, which we estimate to be between four to five percent per year on average," said McKee. "Between 1998 and 2001, our growth plans will exceed this goal, reaching a total of about 22 percent. For the first nine months of 1999, our early production estimates indicate that our worldwide natural gas production will be up about 23 percent."