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ConocoPhillips has reinvented itself again, exiting deep-water exploration and betting on flexible US production

Four years ago, when ConocoPhillips spun off its downstream businesses, the logic was shareholder value. The transaction created Phillips 66, the new owner of the group’s refineries, pipelines and chemicals businesses – and the US’s largest refining company, with 14 refineries and throughput capacity of 2.2m barrels a day. And it left behind the world’s largest independent exploration and production firm by reserves and production. Chairman and chief executive Ryan Lance said the new-look E&P company’s “unmatched size, scope and capability” provided a platform for profitable growth, strong financial returns and a sector-leading dividend. Lance hadn’t anticipated the depth and length of

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