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HOUSTON -- ConocoPhillipsannounced this morning that it will split into two separate publicly traded companies. The split is expected to be completed during the first half of 2012. Once the transaction is complete, ConocoPhillips CEO Jim Mulva, 64, said he will retire.
After the split, ConocoPhillips will have one refining and marketing company and another focused on exploration and production.
"We have concluded that two independent companies focused on their respective industries will be better positioned to pursue their individually focused business strategies," Mulva said in a statement.
Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Fadel Gheit told the Associated Press the breakup will create the largest independent refiner in the world. "This is so positive for them," Gheit said. "Everyone should stick to one business."
According to Gheit, ConocoPhillips executives have long balked about breaking the company in two. However, the company changed its mind after seeing how much Marathon Oil's split, which became official on July 1, benefitted the company.