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    ConocoPhillips, Seven & I Release Results

    Lower oil production and store closings are on tap.

    HOUSTON -- While the official results of ConocoPhillips' second quarter performance is not due until July 23, an overview was released today underscoring higher crude and natural gas prices, and lower worldwide production opposed to its first quarter data.

    According to report by Platts, the company's second-quarter production on a barrel-of-oil equivalent (BOE) per day basis, including Syncrude and excluding Lukoil, is forecasted to be approximately 60,000 BOE per day lower than the prior quarter.

    "This reduction is primarily due to planned maintenance, as previously communicated. Exploration expenses are expected to be approximately $275 million before-tax for the quarter," the report stated.

    While its midstream results are anticipated to be higher than the previous quarter, expenses are expected to be similar to the previous quarter; however, it will carry forward a debt balance of approximately $22 billion.

    With regards to ConocoPhillips' U.S. refineries, its capacity utilization rate for the second quarter is projected to be in the mid-90-percent range, which
    reflects improving performance conditions at its Gulf Coast refineries.

    The report stated, however, that refinery margins will "differ due to the company's specific locations, configurations, crude oil slates or operating conditions," the report continued. "The company's refining configuration generally yields somewhat higher distillate volumes and lower gasoline volumes than those implied by the market indicators."

    Overall second-quarter turnaround costs are anticipated to be roughly $175 million before-tax, the report stated.

    In other news, Japan's largest retailer, Seven & I Holdings Co., posted it third consecutive decline in quarterly profits after it reported an earnings dip at its department-store unit and North American 7-Eleven convenience stores.

    Opposed to this time last year, net income fell 7.5 percent to 33.1 billion yen, or $310 million, the company said in a statement to Tokyo's stock exchange today.

    Seven & I reported that operating profits from 7-Eleven convenience stores fell 3.2 percent to 46.5 billion yen in the quarter. The news stateside wasn't better, as North American operations, where the company has its second largest 7-Eleven network, fell 56 percent to 2.49 billion yen.

    The results are grim as the retailer announced it will close 600 unprofitable 7-Eleven outlets over three years in Japan. About 140 restaurants, the majority of which are Denny's, will also be closed.

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