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Wattenberg Pushes Anadarko's 3Q2014 Volumes to Record High

Anadarko Petroleum Corp.'s sales volumes hit a record high 849,000 Boe/d in 3Q2014, with volumes from Colorado's Wattenberg Field -- double what they were in 3Q2013 -- leading the way, the company said Wednesday.

Total U.S. onshore liquids sales volumes for the Houston-based exploration and production company were 283,000 boe/d in 3Q2014, up significantly compared with 260,000 boe/d in 2Q2014 and 181,000 boe/d for full-year 2013. Total 3Q2014 sales volumes of crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids represented an increase of almost 105,000 boe/d over 3Q2013.

The company reported earnings of $1.09 billion ($2.12/share), up from $182 million (36 cents/share), a year earlier. Excluding special items including asset sales, 3Q earnings this year rose to $1.16/share from $1.12/share. Revenue increased 30% to $5.01 billion on higher volumes despite some lower prices.

Anadarko collected an average of $3.62/Mcf on its U.S. natural gas in the quarter, up from $3.33/Mcf in 3Q2013. U.S. crude oil and condensate brought in an average of $92.59/bbl this quarter, down from $103.15/bbl a year ago while condensate garnered an average $35.11/bbl in the third quarter, compared to $38.49/bbl a year ago.

The company reported an uptick in the Eagle Ford Shale (76,000 boe/d, compared with 67,000 boe/d in 2013) and the Marcellus Shale (89,000 boe/d, compared with 85,000 boe/d in 2013), but the Wattenberg Field hit 143,000 boe/d, a mighty leap forward from 56,000 boe/d in 2013 and an 18% increase compared with 121,000 boe/d in 2Q2014.

"Outstanding performance in the Wattenberg Field continues to be a tremendous value for our company, and a major growth engine for the U.S. onshore business," CEO Al Walker said during a conference call with analysts. The Wattenberg has been Anadarko's leading producer for several quarters (see Shale Daily, May 6; March 4; Feb. 4).

"The results of our horizontal drilling program, and the investments we made in the DJ Basin to expand our midstream assets in that region, enabled us to grow liquid volumes by 20,000 b/d sequentially. We've talked in the past about the importance of controlling our wellhead results through aggressive midstream management. The results in this quarter in the Wattenberg Field once again put an exclamation point on this cornerstone difference for Anadarko. We expect the Wattenberg Field to generate more than $500 million of free cashflow this year, while demonstrating exceptional growth in the years to come."

Anadarko also reported sales volume growth  in the Wolfcamp Shale -- 9,000 boe/d in 3Q2014, compared with 6,000 boe/d in 2Q2014 and 1,000 boe/d in 2013, the company's inaugural effort in the Wolfcamp -- and expanded its high-confidence area within its 600,000 gross acre position there.

"We've expanded our highly successful delineation program, which continues to deliver very encouraging results outside our high-confidence area," Walker said.

Anadarko increased full-year sales volume guidance for the third time this year, this time to 304-306 million boe. Just last quarter, the company raised full-year guidance by 5 million boe to 299-302 million boe from an original forecast of 293-298 million boe (see Shale DailyJuly 30).

On Tuesday, Anadarko-formed master limited partnership Western Gas Partners LP said it is buying Delaware Basin gas gatherer and processor Nuevo Midstream LLC for $1.5 billion (see related story). The Nuevo assets include a 300 MMcf/d cryogenic processing complex with an additional 400 MMcf/d of processing capacity that is scheduled to be in service in 2015; 275 miles of gathering pipeline; 1,800 gpm of amine treating capacity and four compressor stations. The assets serve production from Reeves, Loving and Culberson Counties, TX, and Eddy and Lea Counties, NM.

"This investment significantly expands our midstream capacity to facilitate our future production growth and control product delivery to the most attractive markets," Walker said.

Anadarko is one of more than a dozen of the largest onshore independents that recently formed a pact to lobby for the right to export crude oil (see Shale Daily,Oct. 28).

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