Oil and Gas

Donald Trump recognizes the energy renaissance, ConocoPhillips CEO says

ConocoPhilips CEO: Trump recognizes the energy revolution

There is a revolution going on in the energy business, and President-elect Donald Trump appears to recognize that, ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance told CNBC on Thursday.

Trump laid out an energy plan on the campaign trail that promised to roll back regulations and unleash untapped energy.

"There's some comfort in the fact that the way he talked on the campaign trail recognized the energy renaissance that's going on here in the U.S.," Lance said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

"We can work together. We are about the economy. We're about good jobs."

He also said it was "encouraging" to hear Trump talk about infrastructure spending, since it takes infrastructure to move product around.

However, low oil prices and higher interest rates are also a factor for the industry. A glut in oil has kept prices under pressure for much of the past two years.

That's why ConocoPhillips is preparing itself for a volatile world, Lance said.

Because the firm has levered itself up a bit, it's selling some assets to reduce debt on its balance sheets, he noted.

"We're trying set ourselves up as a company to lower our break-even cost, get our capital intensity down so we can manage free-cash flow even in the low end of the cycle."

That said, Lance believes the market is rebalancing and will start to work off some of the inventory overhang that has been weighing down oil prices. "I do think there is light at the end of the tunnel, but it is a well-supplied world and we're all watching demand," he said.

Lowering corporate taxes

Another one of Trump's hallmarks on the campaign trail was the promise to slash corporate taxes to 15 percent from 35 percent.

Lance said he is hoping that is one of the administration's early priorities.

"We're trying to compete on a global scale. We're trying to compete internationally. So whatever we can do to make that a level playing field is certainly everything that we support doing," he said.

— CNBC's Tom DiChristopher and Reuters contributed to this report.