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Anadarko Reaping $1.3B From U.S. Onshore Asset Sales

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. said late Wednesday it has agreements in place to capture $1.3 billion from monetizing stakes in three U.S. onshore projects, including a majority stake in the Maverick Basin system in South Texas.

Western Gas Partners LP (WES), formed by Anadarko, agreed to pay $750 million for its 100% stake in Springfield Pipeline LLC, whose sole asset is a 50.1% interest in Maverick. The system gathers volumes for Anadarko and three others in the Texas counties of Dimmit, La Salle, Maverick and Webb within the Eagle Ford Shale fairway.

The system includes 548 miles of gas gathering lines with a capacity of 795 MMcf/d, as well as 241 miles of oil gathering lines with a capacity of 130,000 b/d. Assets to be acquired by WES also include 24 compressor stations with centralized delivery points, 260,000 bbl of oil storage capacity and 75,000 b/d of stabilization capacity.

"This acquisition is a natural complement to our existing portfolio," said WES CEO Don Sinclair. "It is highly accretive to our distributable cash flow with limited volumetric risk and marks our entry into the crude oil gathering and stabilization business, which offers us further business diversification."

The Maverick system generates 100% fee-based revenues with four shippers, including Anadarko, that have primary terms through December 2034. About 75% of the annual volume forecast for the system is covered under minimum volume commitments.

Anadarko also agreed to sell interests in the East Chalk properties in East Texas, primarily in Tyler and Jasper counties, to Zarvona Energy LLC for $105 million. As well, future royalty income from interest in natural soda ash in Sweetwater County, WY, has been sold to an undisclosed buyer for $420 million. All three transactions are scheduled to be completed in March.

"These monetizations continue our track record of actively managing our portfolio,"Anadarko CEO Al Walker said. "Consistent with that, we have identified other significant asset monetization opportunities that we will continue to actively pursue during the year. Our actions to date, which include significantly lowering our 2016 capital spending, improving our cost structure, sharply reducing the dividend and monetizing assets, continue to demonstrate our commitment to financial discipline and managing our portfolio in a prudent manner, while investing within cash inflows and reducing net debt, without the need to issue equity."

Anadarko is pulling back across the U.S. onshore this year and plans to reduce capital spending by almost half from 2014 levels (see Shale DailyFeb. 2). Most spending is to be directed to conventional production in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and from expanded activity in the Wattenberg field in Colorado and the Permian Basin of Texas.

WES on Wednesday reported a fourth quarter loss of $219.2 million (minus $1.60/unit), versus year-ago profits of $54,348 (42 cents). Cash flow from operations fell to a loss of $66.54 million from income a year ago of $404.69 million. Total natural gas throughput was nearly flat year/year at 3,762 MMcf/d.

"2016 will be even more challenging for our industry than 2015," Sinclair said. "However, with the support of Anadarko and the strength of our portfolio, we believe we can continue to deliver meaningful distribution growth even in this commodity price environment...As commodity prices improve, we expect to see additional projects materialize in our key areas of operation."

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