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    ConocoPhillips to Increase Refining Capacity

    The move comes as refining margins are down and oil prices reach new highs.

    HOUSTON -- One day after crude oil hit a record $100 a barrel, major oil company ConocoPhillips projected higher production levels, but lower refining and marketing margins for the fourth quarter of 2007 compared to the prior period, in an interim update cited by The Wall Street Journal.

    Fourth-quarter production, which included its Syncrude division, but excluded Lukoil, is projected to be approximately 60,000 barrels of oil per day higher than the third quarter's nearly 1.8 million barrels, the report stated.

    In addition, new production tax legislation in Alaska will cut earnings by approximately $250 million, $100 million of which is retroactive to 2006 and 2007. That figure will be more than offset by approximately $350 million provided by a Canadian tax cut and other funds, the report stated.

    Meanwhile, the company expects U.S. refining and marketing margins will be lower than the previous quarter, the Journal reported. It also projected share repurchases to amount to $2.5 billion, with the fiscal 2007 figure at nearly $7 billion, the report stated.

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