Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC) is bucking the current trend in the oil and gas industry. The price of oil has been a major headwind that is hitting upstream companies hard. But Anadarko is solidly outperforming within the exploration and production industry because of its strong asset portfolio and focus on continued production growth. Anadarko isn't shying away from developing its new projects just because of the present downturn in commodity prices.
You might be surprised to hear what Anadarko said on its most recent conference call with analysts. The company is doing well and putting up solid growth, despite the carnage rippling through the oil market. Here are five important quotes from Anadarko's conference call that you should know.
Onshore fields continue record performance
"Outstanding performance in the Wattenberg field continues to be a tremendous value driver for our company and a major growth engine for the U.S. on-shore business." --Al Walker, President, Chairman of the Board, and CEO
Last quarter, Anadarko produced record sales volumes of 849,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day, due in large part to the continued success of the company's onshore fields. Anadarko has a strong position in several premier onshore plays across the country. First and foremost is the Wattenberg field, a large natural-gas field located in Colorado's Denver-Julesberg Basin. Sales volumes there rose 18% just since the previous quarter. Because of this, Anadarko management expects the Wattenberg field to generate more than $500 million of free cash flow this year, and further growth from there in the years to come.
New projects set to fuel the future
"In the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, we expect to achieve first oil of our Lucius part in the coming weeks." --Walker
The Gulf of Mexico is back in business in a big way. Just a few years removed from the massive 2010 oil spill, the deep-water Gulf is once again one of the top oil-producing regions in the entire country, and Anadarko Petroleum is set up to deliver. Final commissioning is under way in the Lucius project, and the twin Heidelberg project is expected to produce 80,000 barrels of oil per day once it's fully online. This alone would increase total production by 9%.
"In Mozambique, we continue to work to advance our operated LNG project and have made significant progress to-date." --Walker
Separately, Anadarko has big plans in the liquefied natural gas arena. Its massive international LNG project in Mozambique is progressing, and the production potential is very significant. Anadarko management revealed that it has multiple buyers in Asia for as much as 7 million tons per annum. For proper context, this would equate to approximately 60.7 million barrels of oil equivalent.
Portfolio management strengthens Anadarko's positioning
"We significantly strengthened the balance sheet ending with approximately $8.3 billion of cash on hand bolstered primarily by our ongoing portfolio management activities." --Walker
Over the past several months, Anadarko has reshuffled its portfolio by shedding assets it deems noncritical to the company's future. To that end, Anadarko has closed or announced the monetization of approximately $2.2 billion in assets. Importantly, these deals are expected to have little impact on current production reserves. Management hasn't given specifics about what it intends to do with the proceeds.
The cash is sitting on the balance sheet for now, but it's reasonable to assume Anadarko will utilize some of it to develop its continuing projects in the Wattenberg field, the deep-water Gulf of Mexico, and in Mozambique. Anadarko also returns a lot of cash to shareholders. The company increased its dividend 50% this year, and the cash raised from its portfolio optimization can fuel future dividend increases.
Anadarko's future strategy is intact
"The current commodity price environment is going to have little to no impact on what we see over the next four to five years." --Walker
In response to a question from an analyst regarding the extremely tough operating climate, Walker underplayed the significance of oil prices on the company's major strategic initiatives. Anadarko remains fully committed to securing new assets when it is advantageous to do so, as well as ramping up production at its existing projects. Management does acknowledge the difficult downturn in oil prices, and would reevaluate its direction if oil continued its dramatic decline. That being said, barring a sudden collapse from current levels, it's steady as she goes for Anadarko Petroleum.