US oil giant ConocoPhillips has reported vast increases in first quarter profits as high world oil prices continue to put a smile on the corporate faces of the big oil companies.

ConocoPhillips has increased profits in the first three months of the year by a massive 80% over the previous year as its income came in at $2.9 billion. The rise eclipsed BP’s declaration two days ago of a 29% increase in profits.

Earnings per share were $4.10, up from $2.33 a share in the same quarter of 2004, while revenue increased 29% to $38.9 billion from $30.2 billion a year earlier.

However, the Houston based oil producer said that profits could have been even better as unscheduled shutdowns in its oil and gas production fields and downtime in its refining operations reduced output and therefore earnings. The company said that it had used only 92% of its production capacity in the quarter.