ConocoPhillips Ready for Increased Volatility in Middle East

Speaking this week on CNBC’s “Power Lunch”, ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance said his company is getting ready should there be a Saudi shake-up resulting in a volatile oil market.

“We can sustain our production, pay our dividend, below $40 a barrel. That’s part of the transformation that we’ve been through,” he told the program.

He commented after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz accused Iran of “direct military aggression” after Houthi rebels backed by Tehran fired a missile aimed at Riyadh. And earlier in the week, a prominent member of the Saudi royal family was arrested in a crackdown on influential royalty and bureaucrats.

As a result, oil climbed higher because of the ongoing tensions between Saudi Arabia and its neighbors. Some experts predicted prices could go as high a $70 a barrel, depending on what happens between the countries.

At ConocoPhillips, Lance said the sale of $16 billion in low-margin assets last year made the company more resilient.