ConocoPhillips to split

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NEW YORK/HOUSTON, July 14 (Reuters) – ConocoPhillips will spin off its refining arm in a bet that each operation will be worth more as separate companies, abandoning the bigger-is-better strategy that had driven oil giants into mergers over the past 15 years.

Shares of ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, rose as much as 7.5 percent on the news.

The split will create the largest refining company in the United States based on capacity and the largest exploration and production company by far based on oil and gas reserves.