Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Energy company pumps life into Nordic finals

U.S. championships at Anchorage Jan. 3

Six weeks from now, one of the country's largest energy companies for the first time will sponsor one of the country's largest Nordic ski races.

ConocoPhillips will sponsor the 2009 U.S. Cross Country Championships at Kincaid Park in Anchorage, Alaska Jan. 3-8. On July 7 the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association announced the sponsorship of ConocoPhillips for the U.S. finals at Anchorage in 2009 and also in the 2010 Olympic year.

Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation athletes will compete in the upcoming nationals.

"We couldn't be happier to be able to call Anchorage the home of the ConocoPhillips U.S. Cross Country Championships for the 2009 and 2010 seasons," said U.S. Nordic Director John Farra. "Not only is Anchorage a center of cross country excellence, having the competition venue at sea level will help replicate expected conditions in the Callahan Valley for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver."

The Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage (NSAA) will host the event set for Jan. 3-8, 2009. It will help determine the 2010 U.S. Olympic cross country ski team for Vancouver.

"At ConocoPhillips, we believe in creating a positive impact in communities where our employees live and work. Supporting the U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships in Anchorage gives our Alaskan athletes a chance to compete on a national level right here at home," said Jim Bowles, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska. "Having 450 athletes and coaches, plus their families, come to Alaska to compete is a real win for our local economy."

The 2009 ConocoPhillips U.S. Cross Country Championships schedule: Saturday, Jan. 3, classic sprint; Jan. 5, 10-kilometer and 15k freestyle; Jan. 7, 5k and 10k classic; and Jan. 8, freestyle team sprint.

According to the company Web site, ConocoPhillips traces its beginnings to 1875, when Conoco founder Isaac E. Blake had an idea to make kerosene available and affordable to townspeople in Ogden, Utah.

Thirty years later, the foundation for Phillips Petroleum Co. began when brothers Frank and L.E. Phillips hit the first of 81 wells without a dry hole.

Phillips was the first company to develop and market propane for home heating and cooking. Phillips also invented a process to make high-octane gasoline. Conoco used its pioneering spirit to develop the first filling station in the West.

The ConocoPhillips merger, completed on Aug. 30, 2002, formed what is now the third-largest energy company in the U.S. This year, the company reported third-quarter net income of $5,188 million that exceeded the comparable 2007 net income of $3,673 million, and nine-month net income of $14,766 million that was nearly double the previous year, in large part because of the strong commodity price environment.

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