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ConocoPhillips profit slumps 43% on lower oil prices, higher costs

Oct 29 (Reuters) - ConocoPhillips reported a 43% drop in adjusted quarterly profit on Tuesday, dragged by lower crude prices and higher exploration expenses.

However, the world's largest independent oil and gas producer reported net earnings of $3.1 billion, or $2.74 per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $1.9 billion, or $1.59 per share, a year earlier when the company reported a gain from the sale of its U.K. assets.

Excluding items, ConocoPhillips earned 82 cents per share compared with $1.36 per share, a year earlier.

Total production, excluding Libya, rose 98,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) to 1.322 million boe/d. (Reporting by Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)