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A must-know overview of ConocoPhillips’ operations in the US


Dec. 4 2020, Updated 10:51 a.m. ET

COP’s operations in the lower 48 states

The lower 48—representing the largest business segment in COP—consists of operations located in the U.S. lower 48 states plus Latin America.

This segment is broadly classified into four regions in North America:

  1. Gulf Coast
  2. Mid-Continent
  3. Rockies
  4. San Juan

Major focus areas include the Eagle Ford (Gulf Coast), Permian (Mid-Continent), and the Bakken (Rockies).

COP’s major onshore operations

Major operations in the Lower 48 region are carried out from the Eagle Ford, Permian, Bakken, and San Juan Basin regions.

Eagle Ford

COP currently holds 221,000 net acres in the liquids-rich Eagle Ford shale. The company noted in its 10-K that it operated 11 drilling rigs throughout 2013, resulting in 164 wells drilled. In 2014, COP plans to drill approximately 190 new wells.


The Bakken acreage position is currently 620,000 net acres. The company operated 10 rigs in the Bakken in 2013. Plans for 2014 include drilling approximately 110 new wells.

Permian Basin

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COP’s Permian Basin acreage is approximately 1 million net acres, where it drilled 151 wells in 2013 and has 26 horizontal wells planned for 2014. COP estimates that its Permian leasehold contains around 1 million BOE of oil and gas resources. It’s actively testing liquids-rich regions across its lease.

San Juan Basin

With a net acreage position of 900,000 net acres, COP is the largest operator in the San Juan Basin. The company is currently pursuing development opportunities in this region.

ConocoPhillips’ (COP) peers in the Eagle Ford and Bakken regions include Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), Continental Resources (CLR), and Whiting Petroleum (WLL). Most of these companies are components of the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE).

COP’s other major areas of onshore operations are located in the Barnett and Anadarko basins in the Mid-Continent and the Niobrara in the DJ Basin in the Rockies.

COP’s Gulf of Mexico discoveries

COP has a Gulf of Mexico net acreage position of 2.1 million net acres. Last year, COP announced its fourth deepwater Gulf of Mexico discovery—the Gila discovery. The company plans to perform appraisal drilling (drilling after the discovery of oil and gas) in 2014.

Appraisal drilling has been planned for other discoveries, including the Tiber, Shenandoah, and Coronado discoveries. COP holds an interest of 20%, 18%, 30%, and 35% in the Gila, Tiber, Shenandoah, and Coronado discoveries, respectively.


Continue to the next part of this series to read about how the Eagle Ford and Bakken regions have been driving earnings growth at COP.


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