ConocoPhillips spent much of 2017 slimming down and selling assets to reduce the heavy debt load it built up over several lean years from low oil prices. Now that the price of crude is on the upswing, CEO Ryan Lance has more breathing room to maneuver. Major sales included oil sands and natural gas interests in Canada, a stake in the Barnett Shale in Texas, and natural gas assets in the San Juan Basin in New Mexico and Colorado. Still, with rising oil prices, operating revenue increased 23% to $29 billion. Lance also managed to pay down $7.6 billion of debt and get past the almost decade old controversy over nationalized assets in Ecuador with a $337 million settlement.
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